January was such a whirlwind of fun, mountaineering in the Southern Alps of one of the best countries in the world, New Zealand.
Of course, it wasn’t all mountaineering and there was plenty of family time doing some crazy things together.
Now I do have this rather audacious plan to climb some of the world’s highest mountains, heaven forbid, Mt Everest does beckon, but of course even contemplating that is some time off just at the moment.
My next major expedition will be to Nepal in November of this year. It sounds so far away doesn’t it?
I have much preparation to do ahead of it and I suspect time will fly past very quickly. I need to increase my fitness with plenty of long-distance pack walking, as well as hone my climbing and rope handling skills; after all as they say practice makes us perfect.
And of course, climbing to altitudes in excess of 6,000 metres will require some new equipment, so plenty of gear reviews and shopping lie in the months ahead.
Shoosh, I might just not let on to Janet about that just yet!
But anyway, I’m starting to rabbit on a bit now, so I’ll get to my point…
Many people have asked about how the trip went and did I get to the summit of Mt Aspiring.
Unfortunately the answer was no. The weather conspired against us about halfway up and we decided to turn back, to continue on would have been dangerous…
But none-the-less, it was a successful climb.
It would be easy to think of it as a failure…but I had a great smile on my face!
Failure is a word I’ve never been comfortable with and I’m sure it doesn’t sit well with many others. But for many, not achieving a goal you’ve set out to achieve often leads to despair, feelings of not succeeding – of failure.
It can be deflating…
For me, not getting to the summit of Mt Aspiring was not a failure; in fact I found it a great learning experience. Turning back involved taking account of many factors; of course the most important was weather, which was pretty much a no-brainer as the wind was raging in excess of 100 kilometres per hour over the summit.
Assessing the situation, making the correct decision at the appropriate time, and of course acting on it was an important lesson in “human factors” especially as we stood on the mountain, exposed to the elements; to the increasing wind and sleet…
All too often it has been found that people have identified that a new course of action needs to be taken and whilst they’ve understood what it was they needed to do they’ve failed to implement the new plan until it was too late.
The experience highlighted the importance of being efficient and proficient whilst remaining safe, especially at a time when external factors were having an adverse affect on the undertaking.
A very important lesson, especially given my rather audacious plan of climbing high mountains!
So should we get rid of “failure” from our vocabulary?
No, I think it has a place.
After all, Janet did highlight to me the other day that I had failed to take out the garbage, and for sure it could count as a learning experience, but failure summed it up perfectly…
The garbage truck had just passed our home and wouldn’t be back for another week and those words “you failed a very simple task” are still ringing in my ears…
So next time you haven’t achieved your goal will you use the “F word?”
I know you won’t… Just think of it has a learning experience on your way to success…