Last week, I spent three days camping/hiking/cooking/rock climbing/bouldering with 50 eighth graders. It is a retreat that we do to prepare them for their last year at our amazing school.
I loved watching them climb. I felt like I saw who they are as people on the wall. I got to see how they face challenges, accept success and deal with failure.
Yesterday, we debriefed and talked about the climbing.
Many of them talked about hearing an inner voice. Sometimes it said "go" and other times it said "stop."
I know this inner voice really well. When you train for longer races, you spend time with that inner voice. Sometimes it is what gets me through, and other times, it leaves me feeling frustrated and exhausted and just wanting to quit. The trick is to learn to train the inner voice to be on your side.
One of my colleagues and friend told them that great rock climbers do not see limits, they see possibilities. They do not say that they can't get to that next move, they see a variety of ways to get there, and some are better than others. Great rock climbers also are not as interested in getting to the top, but engaging in the process of the climb.
Clearly, at the end of my training for Cedar Point, this resonated with me. I kept thinking about limits versus possibilities. This year, my goal has been to lift my limits and see what I can do. So I have a new goal. I want to think of my training and racing terms of possibilities and engage myself in the process.