It was 3:30am on a brisk Friday morning when a tribe of three were inbound to the top of Longs Peak, a mountain near Boulder, Colorado. Everyone had finished finalizing their last-minute gear adjustments, sipped on some coffee provided by jet boils, and gathered around the map for a quick terrain check. Longs Peak is 14,259 feet and is one of Colorado’s most coveted peaks and sought-after by adventure enthusiasts everywhere. However, this same peak is notorious for having an agenda of its own and derailing summit attempts with its summer snow storms, imperious winds, and missteps along narrow jagged cliff hangs. Everyone was confident in their abilities and each person had the same nervous smile as their feet met reality. Three hardened leaders well versed in fitness and land navigation knew their starting point and visualized their end-point. In between their sought-after goal was the unknown and the unknowable.
The unknown is every unforeseen element, obstacle, negative thought, and kink in your plan that develops as you navigate the path to your goal. The unknowable is the outcome of your success while you traverse your path. The unknowable is the fear of failure and that happens to be one of my biggest internal rifts within my inner being. You are never going to know what is between Point A, Point B, and the outcome unless your feet meet reality. Just like the tribe of three that had no idea what was between them and their summit as they set forth in the dark, you will never know what the unknown and unknowable holds for you unless you too set forth in the dark.
Three headlamps allowed each person to see only what was directly in front of them, while off in the distance lurked the imperious Longs Peak serving as a constant reminder of the vast and mysterious powers of the mountain. Each man was focused on the step directly in front of them and no one really spoke. Sounds of rocks crunching beneath their boots accompanied by heavy breathing from the rapid change in elevation was enough to keep them occupied in ones own thoughts. Although the season was summer, small hail and snowflakes began to fall and everyone smiled as they had a feeling of what was to come in the miles ahead. Words were exchanged about the importance of testing yourself and utilizing fitness outside of the gym. Stories and leadership lessons from previous deployments made their way back and forth amongst the tribe as they approached the frozen boulder field leading up to the keyhole route.
As the three got closer and closer to their goals they were met with violent winds, sandblasting snow and hail as if they were violating a treaty between them and the mountains. A well-planned trip on what was supposed to be a clear day was immediately halted only a mile away from success. The more they tried to push past the keyhole route, the more the winds and snow intensified. A fight between egos and common sense waged inside of each member of the tribe. After taking refuge in a small storm shelter like many before them in hopes of seizing the day it was decided the risk was not worth the reward. From previous experiences, each of them understood ego and the cost it can have on a risky decision.
Today was not their day to seize. Today held a different agenda: help a stranded adventurer in distress, who happened to have a busted ankle and a heavy bag. As they pushed off the mountain, an injured man not in their tribe appeared laying on the trail as the storm made its way over the ridgeline. Without a doubt everyone sprung into action as if this was previously rehearsed. Two people used unconventional methods to support the ankle and cross load gear as the third person planned routes and monitored the incoming storm. Needless to say, everyone made it off the mountain and everyone encountered the unknown and unknowable.
What does this have to do with your yoga practice? Absolutely nothing. It has everything to do with taking a risk and founding a yoga company despite fear of meeting sales. It has everything to do with you embracing the unknown and unknowable as you embark on your own journey. It has everything to do with having your tribe or inner circle as you navigate between points. It has everything to do with lending a helping hand when you yourself wished you had one.
If you have a goal and a plan I promise you the unknown does too. It’s up to you to discover the unknowable and what the outcome will be. It’s up to you to take that leap and live a life outside your comfort zone. Stop sitting back and watching others make it to their summit while you wonder if you too can summit your own goals. Will you allow the sound of the wind or fear of failure to prevent you from attempting your summit? Is there something tugging at your heart to accomplish? Are you wondering if you can make it happen? You will never know unless your feet meet reality and you step into the unknown and unknowable. The tribes summit did not happen their first attempt but it wasn’t a failure. Listen to the little lessons in between attempts so you can attack from a different angle next time. Stay true to your north yogis.
-Brandon Ferra, Owner