Funny how the Thanksgiving season is followed by Christmas. During Thanksgiving we are to take notice of all that we are to be thankful for and one of the greatest gifts we have is each other. So on Christmas, we demonstrate that appreciation and love with gifts. This is a reaffirming occasion since much of the time we can become focused on protecting ourselves. In our busy lives we tend to concentrate on what we need to do to make sure we get done what we need to do by a certain time. Others either help us or they hinder us. The ego gets fed and the journey is forgotten. At least that’s what happens to me, as I wrote in my blog for Subaru, “Dropping the Ego”
Arno Ilgner, in his book, The Warriors Way, discusses how ego gets in the way of the climbing experience. “For most of us, when it comes to meeting challenges, our own worst enemy is ourselves. Our self-image and our self-worth are far too wrapped up in achievements. Ego controls much of our behavior. We constantly act out of fear and avoidance, rather than out of the love of challenge or of climbing itself. Our mental habits raise unnecessary barriers and often, unconsciously, drain the vitality from our performances.”
At Chicks, we recognize the importance of awareness in climbing and skiing and believe that our women’s environment is a place that is supportive, yet asks each participant to push their comfort zones rather than protect the ego. I think one of the greatest gifts that climbing continuously gives me is the humbling experience that it often is – and at the same time I gain confidence. Sharing this with my belayer or teammate, where I have to open up and let down my guard, or ego, is an experience that I rarely get in my every day life.