Recently I met with a group of women for a retreat. The goal was to challenge ourselves a little and to also relax. Due to the weather, we put both challenging activities into the same day. To begin, we went horseback riding in the Catskill Mountains in the morning and then a strenuous hike up a mountain, about 3 miles round trip, in the afternoon. It was literally up (over 1000 foot change in elevation) and a mile and a half each way over rocky terrain. Some of our climbing was using a Spiderman method – on our feet and hands like we were scaling up a building.
While this may not be a challenge for everyone – it was for most of us. But here is where it gets interesting – our challenge was not the same. My challenge was that I am a Type 1 diabetic and I know that strenuous activity causes my blood sugar to drop. I had packed all my diabetes supplies and I had them in my back pack. Thankfully I have a glucose monitor that gives me updates every 5 minutes so I could treat my low blood sugars as I went along. The entire group asked if I was okay and made it a safe environment for me to be able to stop when needed.
Another of our hikers literally had the soles of her shoes fall off – Seriously! – as we began the hike. She did the entire 3 miles with her shoes taped over her feet with first aid tape. When we were all debriefing after the hike she mentioned that if we had all quit to get her another pair of shoes that none of us would have returned. She did not want to miss the opportunity because she had never been hiking. She was a trooper - no doubt!
A third person had severe allergies that cause asthmatic reactions, so being outside and climbing at that level caused her concern.
While we were hiking it was really interesting to hear, see, and experience each person push through their own challenges. Some were physical and some were mental. On one of our adventures the leader had her own struggle with the activity, and she was vulnerable enough to let us know. To be able to see the honesty and share in the triumph of overcoming the obstacle was really something to celebrate.
We all made it up the mountain – and it was super difficult. When we got to the top the view from all of the vistas was magnificent. It was worth the work. In all honesty, we almost forgot how hard it was to get to the top. The pain of the climb was immediately removed and the view replaced it. We all closed our eyes and just listened. We stayed quiet and took it in. Then we headed back down another 1.5 miles – over rock, taking care with our steps and facing the challenge of going back down. Our mantra – no woman left behind.
In your business you may be facing a challenge. You may feel like you are alone. Share with someone what you are going through. The shared experience and the vulnerability helped us to create a bond, which I know will be meaningful for all of us for some time. You can have the same. Keep doing the hard work. The view from the top is fantastic!
If you need a group of supportive business owners to share your challenge, to be supportive, to experience the view from the top – ask Michele about the Mastermind Alliance program. You don’t have to do this alone.