Let's take a walk through a brand new day.
Remember that fall getaway to the mountains with friends that I shared with you in an earlier blog post? Remember the two-hour story telling around the campfire? One of those friends, Renea, had quite the story to tell and she got me thinking about goals, objectives, success and failure. We all know what success and failure look like but what about goals and objectives? A definition helps: a goal is a destination and an objective is a measure of the progress needed to get to the destination. Success is a matter of establishing both.
Renea is an adrenaline junkie in the most positive way. She loves adventures and challenges. Her latest adventure was to go “Everesting”. This is not to be confused with “Ever Resting” which is what most of us would enjoy on any given busy day! Her goal was to climb the equivalent of Mt. Everest in a 24 hour period: 1 mountain. 17 times. 29,029 feet…the height of Mount Everest. The event was held on Stratton Mountain in Vermont where there were 150 participants.
My friend hasn’t always been so fit. In fact, the toughest thing she did in her youth was to play a little tennis. So where did she get the stamina and strength to even try such a task and why would she want to?
Renea tells the story that as a young mother, she just needed some time to herself. This is when her husband encouraged her to start exercising to have some alone time and relieve the stress of motherhood. One night, she accepted the challenge. She laced up her running shoes, ran a mile in the neighborhood, and then promptly threw up her dinner. Not a great way to relieve stress! But, she knew she had to find a way to keep the long term goal of finding some alone time. So, she changed the objectives to meet the goal. The new plan was to run 1/4 of a mile for 2 weeks each evening, advance to 1/2 mile for 2 weeks, then 3/4 mile for two weeks until finally she could run a mile and not lose her dinner. She followed those objectives while remembering her ultimate goal of finding alone time and relieving stress. It worked. She learned to cherish those runs.
Her children are now grown and alone time is easy to find. Yet, she keeps looking for new challenges. Why? Because it feels good. Adventure racing, triathlons, marathons, tough mudder runs, century cycling, and so much more has become a part of her health and fitness as well as a way to continue challenging herself with new goals and objectives. In fact, in 2015, she completed her goal of hiking the entire Appalachian Trail, 2,189 miles from Georgia to Maine. It took her 6 years of section hiking while facing many doubters and battling obstacle after obstacle. But, she did it! And to think, it all started with running 1/4 mile.
(Photo: Renea Woodard at the end of the 2,189 mile Appalachian Trail hike)
Has she seen failures? Yes. Did she set new goals and objectives? Yes. Is there shame in not accomplishing your goal? No. Just ask her. Setbacks just give her an opportunity to create a new goal and set objectives along the way.
This brings me back to the “Everesting” event which she just attempted. 1 mountain. 17 climbs. 29,029 feet. 24 hours. Participants were pro NFL athletes, body builders, strength trainers, endurance runners, adventure racers, and one registered nurse: Renea. Who finished the Everest challenge? Not all the pro athletes, not all the body builders and not all the strength and endurance athletes. In fact, only 40% of participants finished the challenge. You know who did finish the challenge? Renea did! A determined homemaker and registered nurse who learned to set goals and objectives finished the challenge! There’s proof in the picture below as she finished the climb for the 17th time in less than 24 hours! As she climbed to the top of Stratton Mountain one last time and hoisted the flag showing 29,029 feet, the wind threatened to rip the flag from her hands. She held on tight for the picture that would document the feat: Renea had climbed the height of Mt. Everest. Wow, just wow!
You can read more about Everesting here:
What about you? What goals and objectives have you set for yourself? What dreams do you have that you want to accomplish? Do you have a plan to achieve those goals? Do tell! While you are at it, what about leaving a comment for Renea on her amazing feat? I’m so proud of her.