My feet balanced on two little stubs that protruded from the inverted wall.
Looking to secure myself, I clenched my fingers on the parts of the wall that stuck out far enough to make use of.
My eyes looked up to find the next hand hold…
And that’s when the sinking feeling really set in.
I could see the next hold. It was all that stood between me and the last meter of this bouldering problem. But I had no idea how to re-position my body to reach it.
And that’s when I let go.
I dropped the four meters to the mats below. A guy attempting the same route as me took his turn, maneuvering up the wall as I had. And then he got to the exact point where I’d just been stuck.
Hanging in place for a moment, he considered his options. He tried a different foot position to what I had, and pushed himself forward…
And that was it! He got his hand on the next hold and continued up the last meter of the route.
On my very next time up the route, I too sailed past the sticky spot and continued on to that last meter. It just took seeing one person do it to completely remove the hurdle that had been there just minutes before.
Start By Following Others Over The Hurdles
It was long thought that no one could run a mile in under 4 minutes. Roger Bannister was the first to do it in 1954, and then was quickly followed by others who also achieved this feat. It just took one to get up and over the hurdle, and then the rest came flooding over too.
Roger Bannister running a mile in under 4 minutes
for the first time in human history
Hurdles. They stand in your way. Sometimes you can see, and are aware of them. But sometimes, you don’t even realize they exist – and you keep tripping over them, wondering what you keep tripping on.
A hurdle is helpful in what it teaches you once you realize it’s there.
Why is this hurdle here? Can I move it? Do I need someone to help me get over it? How badly do I want to get over this? What do I need to do to get over this?
A hurdle is helpful for what it gives you as you discover how to get up and over it, clearing it from your path for good (or at least, “for now”…some hurdles are going to show up again).
I’m strong enough to get over this hurdle. I’m smart enough to get over this hurdle. I care enough to get myself over this hurdle. It’s possible for me to get up and over this hurdle.
In all things you desire to accomplish in life, there will be hurdles. And sometimes they’ll be purely in your head.
Here’s a list of common hurdles I’ve seen my clients face, and a few I’ve discovered and had to go over myself:
“I can’t do it.”
“Girls can’t do that.”
“Guys can’t do that.”
“I’m too old to do that.”
“It’s just always been that way.”
“It just doesn’t work that way.”
“It runs in my family.”
“I don’t know how.”
“I’m too busy.”
Hurdles stand in the way of a life well-lived. But, without them, a life cannot be well-lived. It’s in the overcoming of the hurdle that the real growth of you as a human happens.
When you overcome a hurdle, any of the following might have happened in the journey over the hurdle. Your muscle fibers got bigger and stronger. Your confidence grew. You got smarter. Your brain ran a neurological pattern it never had run before. You made durable what once was perpetually broken in your body. You let go of a belief about yourself that you believed to be true, that had now been proven false.
If you never have to get over a hurdle, learning how to do something new or changing how you do something, you will miss out on valuable opportunities to learn about yourself. You won’t add to your arsenal of skills and tools, from which you can dig in and pull out to assist you with future hurdles.
Find the hurdles you’re facing right now. Hunt for them in your training. Discover them in your relationships. Zero in on them in your career goals. See them in that broader scope of “what do you want out of your life?”
Once you have discovered the hurdles you currently face, you can begin to systematically take them out because whatever is on the other side of them is something you want.
And if what’s on the other side of the hurdle is not something you want, then save the energy and leave the hurdle where it stands, your focus is needed elsewhere.
You are going to face hurdles. Do what it takes to overcome them. Take a look around and see who has overcome a hurdle you face. Sometimes, all it takes is one person to do it first for you to realize ‘hey you can do it too.’ And when you get over a hurdle, celebrate the hell out of it.
You’re now a more indestructible human thanks to that hurdle.