Personal Growth

Into the Ascent:  Journey Beyond Your Comfort Zone

April 19, 2024

When we our lives feel heavy and insurmountable – adventure offers us a pathway forward.

It’s all to easy to blow up your life in a midlife crisis tantrum and fit. Save yourself the suffering and redirect yourself: adventure offers us a pathway forward. 

During the moments of overwhelm and burden, when dissatisfaction and disconnection feel insurmountable, we often reach for drastic changes. We think that a new job, a new city, or a new relationship might be the panacea. Yet, those of us who have ventured down this path of drastic change, including myself, know that these shifts rarely address the deep-seated issues we face. The sense of relief is fleeting, and soon enough, the old feelings of dissatisfaction resurface.

Ixta, Mexico – 17,159 ft

The Misdiagnosis of Our Discontent

Our initial diagnosis is often flawed. We treat the symptoms, not the disease. We change landscapes, partners, and professions, hoping that these will cure what ails us. But the core issue remains untouched, and the dissatisfaction inevitably returns.

The Call of the Wild

There is, however, a different sort of remedy, one that requires a more substantial, personal investment: the pursuit of adventure. This approach demands that we embrace discomfort and adversity, elements that are inherently repellant but surprisingly transformative. It’s a concept that seems counterintuitive but is rooted deeply in the human experience.

Climbing Invisible Mountains

Every mountain I have climbed has altered me. The value lies not at the summit but in the climb, the ascent. The ascent is where transformation occurs; it’s where we meet ourselves in the rawest form; unapologetically and without the mask, protection, and bravado we are accustomed to in our daily lives.

Culturally we focus on the summit experience – the success of reaching the top. But the summit is simply one geographical point and one singular moment on the entire mountain – the ascent, our ascent, is the focus. That is the experience in totality. 

Mt. Shuksan, N. Cascades, WA

Crafting Your Expedition

Understanding your ‘what’ and ‘why’ is crucial before you set out. What is it that you are seeking to engage in? The literal, what: this mountain, this hike, this river…and the why: to test my physical abilities, to unplug from the world, remove distraction, and experience the depth of nature, to reconnect with myself after decades of giving to others, to connect with another and feel camaraderie and strength that can only come from partnership. 

The Mental Terrain

Once you begin your ascent, how you think is more important than what you know. Once you are in the mountains, the research and preparation complete, how you approach challenge, problem solve, whether your internal voice is supportive and uplifting or damning and taunting – how you think determines your success.  

Embracing the Fall

To truly understand the mountain, you must be willing to fail. In my early climbs, I often secretly celebrated when foul weather provided a convenient excuse for retreat. Yet, the true lesson came when I pressed on despite the ominous clouds overhead, embracing the possibility of failure. This willingness to engage, knowing that failure is a likely outcome, is where true growth emerges.

Falling is not failing—it is an essential part of the journey. It is through falling that we learn our limitations and how we might transcend them. Falling allows us to discover where our real boundaries lie and how far we can push them.

The Mountain Doesn’t Care

The mountain doesn’t care about your story, your complaints, or your previous success. The mountain stands as it is – a blank slate for us to engage with, test ourselves, seek solace and reflection, we bring who we are and the mountain reflects it back.


Are you ready to stop the treadmill of overwhelm, dissatisfaction, and burden? Shift into living with a sense of purpose, direction, and clarity – all without blowing up your life in midlife crisis? Let’s talk, see how adventure can be the antidote, and craft a plan for you – set up a clarity call here.

Personal Growth

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