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29029: Lessons from the Mountain

challenge endurance expectations lessons Oct 13, 2022
April Price Coaching
29029: Lessons from the Mountain

I’m alive. I did it. I completed the 29029 event and earned that red hat last week. 

I made it through all eight ascents, all the way to Everest. 

And the things you learn about yourself during an event like that? It’s like nothing I’ve ever done before.

Now that a week has gone by and the dust has settled, I can’t wait to get into all the challenges that happened along the way.

To make sure I position these insights for you in the most intentional way, I’ll spread out all the lessons learned over the next few weeks. That way you can get exactly what you need out of it as you go to climb the Everests of your own life.


Things you learn about yourself during a challenging time

Before the event, I felt really prepared. I’d hired a coach, completed all of my training, and worked on my mindset. Little did I know that I would have to tap into something far deeper than my physical preparation to endure this event. 

We started in 50F weather at 6 a.m. on Friday, and that first hour for me was just a punch in the face.

If I’d recorded from the mountain, you would’ve just heard my teeth chattering or my crying or my heavy breathing. 

It was so much harder than I thought it would be.

My brain kept telling me how behind I was. That I probably wasn’t capable. That I probably didn’t have what it took. 2 hours into a 36 hour event, and my brain was already counting me out. 

It's always our thoughts that make our experiences harder or easier. And in this case, the problem was my expectation – not the reality. 

When our expectations are different from our reality, we create a lot of unnecessary pain and doubt for ourselves.

And when that happens, even when you ARE making progress, your brain can’t see it. You can only see what’s gone wrong and how you’re failing.


From the episode: making sense of the things you learn about yourself

  • Why just getting started is so hard - and that’s okay
  • The role resistance plays in a challenging time
  • Reconciling our expectations with our reality
  • Receiving support and letting yourself accept help when you need it
  • Getting past the arguments your brain will always have for you
  • Understanding the role of rest and creating space to experience it
  • The magic of taking it one step at a time, and letting that be enough

Episode Transcript

Welcome to the 100% Awesome Podcast with April Price. You might not know it, but every result in your life is 100% because of the thought you think. And that, my friends, is 100% awesome.

Hello Podcast Universe! Welcome to episode 179 of the 100% Awesome Podcast. I'm April Price and I am alive. I did it. I earned that Red Hat! Last week I completed the 29029 event. I made it all the way to Everest. I made it up all eight ascents during the event you pass the peaks of all the highest mountain tops of every continent until you reach Everest. And I made it! I am happy to be behind the microphone today telling you that news. I have so much to tell you, so much to share with you. I learned so much in that experience about my brain, about myself, about God. And I want to share all of it with you over the next few weeks. I have like, really, really struggled about, like where to begin and what to share about this experience. And I want to tell you everything and I want to tell you everything all at once so that you can understand all of it. And I want to remember everything and not forget things to tell you anyway.

So, I've been really overwhelmed, like trying to figure out how to say it and give it all to you in a podcast here. So I've kind of decided not to and that like I'm going to not give it all to you in one podcast, and I don't know if this is good news or bad news for you, but I'm going to take the next few podcasts actually to break the event down and share some of the lessons that I've learned so that you can get as much good from my experience as possible and as much help in your own lives and your own challenges in your own Everest as I can give you. And so, yeah, we're going to I'm going to do my best here. I'm going to do my best to give you an idea of the experience and the lessons that I learned just a week ago.

So, it's been a week now a week ago today, I was on Whistler Mountain and I was doing my third ascent. At this point, I was about 8 hours into the hardest challenge of my life. And by this point, honestly, you guys, I was already very surprised by the difficulty I had encountered in the first 8 hours. And little did I know of the magnitude of the challenge that was still coming. So, I think what I'm going to do here is today kind of break things down for you, the event ascent by ascent in detail so that I can give you all of the like little lessons that I learned on the way up these eight ascents and just share what was going on in my brain, what I learned about myself and kind of do that, like break that down day by day, hour by hour, ascent by ascent, so that you can kind of really have a picture of what it was like and the things that I, I learned along the way there.

And then next week, I would like to kind of like talk about like the big overview, the big like seismic life changing thoughts that have like really shifted things for me on a on a really grand scale and sort of like overview thoughts that I think will be really some powerful takeaways for you as you go to climb Everest in your own life. And then if I have anything else to say, I may do one more episode kind of on the spiritual insights that I got doing the event. I learned a lot about myself, about God, and about my relationship with Him on this event. And and I thought that it might be useful and helpful for you to hear some of those things as well. And so, we may do one more episode on that, okay? So, that is where we are and that is where we're going to start.

So, really quick to give you a really quick overview the endurance event is called 29029 and it takes place on the event that I was registered for it takes place on Whistler Mountain. And so, you're going to go you go up Whistler Mountain eight times to equal the equivalent height of Everest by the time you're done. So at Whistler, that mountain is four miles up, the trail is four miles up, you gain 4000 vertical feet every ascent and you have 36 hours to complete this event. We started at 6 a.m. on Friday morning and I finished at 5 p.m. on Saturday night, exactly 35 hours after I started. And so, before the event you climb the mountain and then you ride the gondola down and then it's about a 20 minute gondola ride to the bottom. And then, you know, you head back up. And so, just to give you an idea of of Whistler itself, like the terrain of this hike was absolutely gorgeous, absolutely gorgeous rainforest, huge cedars, like just so beautiful. The mountain was huge. It was very steep and it was pretty cold.

On Friday, I think we started about 50 degrees or so, you know, at the top it was another ten degrees colder than that. And we were kind of hiking through the mists in the clouds all day on Friday. And I, you know, dealt with a lot of the cold, and then on Saturday, the sun came out and the clouds disappeared. And we can kind of see the valley. And anyway, it was just an amazing experience and amazing terrain, amazing event. And I was so privileged to be a part of it, okay? So, there's so much that I want to tell you about this day, but as I go through this day, a scent by a scent, the thing that I really want you to watch for is that no matter how hard the challenge is, it's always our thoughts that are going to make it harder or easier.

So, it's all a story happening in your head, even when you're climbing an actual physical mountain. That is like a real circumstance, right? It's always just like there's a story being told in your brain about that experience. And like, there's always two stories, right? Like that. That this is that this is amazing and that we are capable and that we are strong. And then the other one that your brain mostly likes to tell about, where you are wrong and where everything's gone wrong and where there are so many problems and how you're probably going to die up here on this mountain. You just are not capable of it. And I just really want you to see that, like our thoughts, like everything is happening in the chambers of our mind, that if it's hard, if it's easy, if we're successful, if we're not, it's all because of what we're thinking. It's all being created in our mind. And so I hope as we go through this, that you'll kind of watch, watch my mind, have this experience and learn some things from them, from my experience, because for sure, I didn't do it perfectly. And for sure there are things here to learn.

So, let's just start at the beginning. Just so you know, like before the race kind of pre-race, I felt really prepared. I had completed all of my training. I had hired a coach. I worked on my mindset. I felt really prepared. I felt really strong and capable and that I really kind of felt like, yeah, I mean, I did have some nerves, but for the most part I felt like it was just going to be a matter of executing and like tapping into all that preparation and using all those muscles that I had built. And little did I know that, like, actually I would have to tap into like something far deeper than my preparation and my physical preparation. Okay, So, you know, there was some fear of the unknown, but I think mostly I felt pretty confident that I would finish. I had a really solid ascent plan and that included finishing six ascents before midnight. That was my original plan that I'd set up with my coach. I was going to get six done before midnight on Friday and then get some sleep and then do two more on Saturday.

And I kind of thought those ones on Saturday would just be quick and easy and I would just be done right and that like it wasn't going to be like it was going to be tough, but like I had prepared and it was going to be, you know, doable. And, and honestly, you guys, if I'm being totally honest with you, the only question I really had about the ascent plan was like, maybe it's too conservative, right? Like, maybe actually I'll get closer to seven on the first day and then I'll just want to finish and maybe I'll just finish in the dark and in the middle of the night, right. And just be done, and like, I felt confident enough that I was sort of debating these two types of finishes where I was like, okay, I would I would be so far ahead that I would just get to pick do I want to finish at night and just get it done or do I want to like, finish in the day when people can cheer and be there to to witness it, right?

And I kind of went into it thinking like I was going to have a lot of options. Like I felt that prepared and and maybe very clearly that overconfident. Right. And in some ways, I even thought that the mountain itself would be easier than training. Like I thought being outside would be easier than being on the treadmill. I thought that the incline would have more variation than like the constant 30%. And I thought it would be a lot easier because there would be other people around and they would all be working towards the same goal and I could feed off that energy. And so I remember just feeling like really good going.

And in fact, you guys, I even bought a special microphone for my phone because I thought, you know, it'd be so awesome to have clips from the mountain on my podcast. And so, bought this microphone so that I could record, like in the middle of a hike, record some thoughts, or on the gondola ride down, I'd be able to record some thoughts and some commentary so that you could like experience it in real time. And I just look back at it like, Oh, that's so cute, right? That's like I, I was just like surviving that entire hike and that microphone never left the pocket of my bag. And it had probably all you would have heard was like my teeth chattering or my crying or my heavy breathing.

So, you know, like, I think I just looked back at that at that girl before she started. And I just think, Oh, that's so cute, right? Like, I had No idea what it was really going to be like. And so, anyway, we kicked off at the start line about 6:00. My brother, I was I was going there with my brother, his wife and his daughter, and then my son Caleb. So, it was the five of us kind of in this group, and we were all up towards the top of the pack. And my brother wanted to get out ahead of people because the trail pretty soon goes to a single lane track and he didn't want to be held up waiting for slower climbers. And so, there we were at 6 a.m. the front of the line. It was dark, it was cold. We all had our headlamps in and, you know, were there and like, there's butterflies in my stomach, but I'm just like, grinning from ear to ear, like, I'm so excited. Like, here we are. We are finally, like, going to go, right? We are finally going to start, and so we started and we started out quick and I was almost running to keep up with my group. And by the time we reached the kind of the first steep pitch, I realized, Oh, I'm not going to be able to keep up with these guys.

Yeah, I, I saw them at the start line and that was the last I saw of them, right? And so, I kind of dropped back and slowed my pace. And that first hour for me was just a punch in the face. Like, I was just like, shocked at how hard it was, how like, how behind I was not. So, my brain told me I was so behind. Like I wasn't able to keep up with my and my brother and my sister in law, my niece, Caleb, I didn't like I didn't know where Caleb was. I was just like out in the dark on this mountain by myself and really just like, oh my goodness, you know, And it was kind of like that Mike Tyson quote. This is like everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth. And that's how I found I was like, I've just been punched in the mouth. Right. And I was just shocked by by the difficulty, by the steepness, by the uphill that just never quit. And the fact that I was so far behind my group and so finally made it to the first aid station. And Caleb had waited there for me and but I just knew that I was going to hold him back, that I couldn't maintain that pace. And I just told him, like, just go on ahead without me. And so, I filled up there at the first aid station and kept going.

But I was like watching the clock and I knew that I was already like really so much slower than I had planned on being. I had lost my group at that point. It already felt really, really hard. And I will show you like my confidence level, you guys. I thought it wasn't going to get really hard and tell us then five or six and like I was already hurting, right? And that's about the time that my brain piped up and started doubting my ability to do it right. And I remember distinctly thinking like, Oh, maybe I can't do this. Maybe I am just not capable of this. Okay, this was on a one where my brain piped up with these doubts like, Oh, maybe you are not cut out for this, right? And so, that brings me to the first lesson that I want to share with you, which is that when our expectations are different than our reality, all of a sudden, then we're going to create a whole lot of pain and doubt for ourselves, okay. So, I want to point out to you that, like, I hadn't lost yet, right? Just the first ascent, but because it was so different than my expectation, I was brain was like, oh, turns out you're not capable of this, okay? Like I was only 2 hours in to a 36 hour endurance event, but my brain is already counting me out.

And and that was only because the reality that I was in was so different than my expectations. And the problem was by expectations, not the reality always. The problem is always our expectations. And just because the climb was so different from how I thought it was going to be, my time was so different. Like the pace was so different. Then the doubts started coming. And so I finished the first ascent at 825, so it was almost 30 or 40 minutes slower than I thought I'd be. I was hoping to be like, done and back down on the gondola by our two, right? And mostly I was like, so, like, shocked and and angry about it, right? I was just like, so mad. David says that, like, Caleb came up so happy and excited, and I was just angry. And I was like, Yeah, that sounds about right. So, Caleb had waited for me at the top of ascent to he had finished ten or 15 minutes ahead of me and he'd waited up there for me. So, we got a cup of noodles, we got on the gondola and we headed back down and I was already like scared about the clock and like, worried because here I was like an hour behind my ascent plan.

And so we got down to the bottom, we changed our wet shirts. They had been wet from the sweat and the mist and everything, and we refilled our water bottles. We branded the ascent board down at the bottom, at the at the bottom of every ascent. There's a board where you, like, take this branding iron and mark that you completed the ascent. And so, we mark the board and we started again. It was 9 a.m. an hour after I thought I would be starting out. And was just like such a blow, right? So anyway, the second time was a little bit better. We were no longer in the dark. My body was starting to adjust to the hike in the terrain. And honestly, this is how training was for me too. The beginning was always the hardest, and so I don't know why I thought the race would be any different, but there I was and so headed up that that second climb again, just really mostly worried about that clock. We did the second ascent in 2 hours and 25 minutes and Caleb at that point just decided that he was going to climb with me even though I was, you know, ten or 15 minutes slower than him on pace.

He decided like, you know, I'm going to wait for you, I'm going with you. And I remember, like just being so discouraged about how slow I was about the time and really frustrated by my inability to climb faster, I felt like I was letting Caleb down. I felt like I was letting myself down, felt like I was letting my coach down. Just felt, like, so bad about the whole thing, right? And I remember when we got to the top of ascent number two, I remember just like sitting at the table for a minute with with David. And my parents were there cheering us on and just like crying in frustration about the pace. And so, that brings us to lesson number two and number three. Lesson number two is that even when you are making progress, your brain can't see it, okay? It can only see what's gone wrong and what's wrong with where you are. So, I just wanted to point out that at this point I completed two ascents. I was a quarter of the way through the event and I was just nothing but discouraged. I was just like, Oh no, right. It was 1130 by the time we finished that ascent. And I was just like, I was supposed to be almost done by with three. By that point, I was like, supposed to like, who knows, right?

The supposed to plan the plan that I had made, I had made without ever being on that mountain. I had no idea what it was going to take. I was just like basing it off what I had done on the treadmill. And so, I'm like, okay, tell you what I was supposed to do when I keep saying that phrase. I was 2 hours off what I was supposed to do, all of that supposed to was made up. And that is what is so shocking is that I was creating so much distress and so much pain and so much like being upset about this thing that was made up. And again, like my brain just wanted to point out how I was failing. It wasn't noticing my successes at all. It was noticing like, yeah, a quarter of the way through, good job. Think my brain was just like, You're terrible. You suck. You're never going to make it right. And so, I just want you to remember that. That like, given the choice between, like, offering failure or or success, your brain is always going to show you your failure is okay. Like, it's just a it's just amazing to me, like, how much of the, like, painful parts of the beginning could have been avoided if I had just, like, decided like, oh, it turns out I was wrong about the time.

Okay, let's let's move on. But my brain just really wanted to tell me that I was failing and that I was in the wrong place. Another example of that, like when you are making progress and your brain just can't see it, is they had these flags posted throughout the sense where it would show you 500 feet, you've ascended 500 feet, you visited a thousand. So every 500 feet, there were these red markers that would let you know. And like, every time I saw that 500 feet marker, I just wanted to scream. So, it's just like it just didn't feel like any progress at all, right? My brain is like, listen, you're tired and you only went 500 feet. You suck like or the thousand foot flat. That was another one. I was just like, Don't even put these up. My brain is just like you are failing. Every time I saw those, like, 500,000 foot flag. And the truth is, I had gone 500 feet. I could have done a little celebration. I could have been proud. But instead I was just like my brain was just like, No, this is terrible. You've only been 500 feet. Now it was hard. Okay, so I just want you to remember that, like, given the choice, your brain is only going to notice, like, your failures.

It's only going to notice where you are. It's only going to notice what's gone wrong. Okay, and to go along with that, the other lesson that that is right there in those in those earliest sense is the idea that resistance of what is or resistance of where we are only makes things harde, right? Like where you are supposed to be is always a lie. We're always telling ourselves, I'm supposed to be further along. I'm supposed to be somewhere else. My life is supposed to look different, and that is always a lie. And that's exactly what my brain was doing on this mountain. They just kept saying, like, You're supposed to be further along. You're supposed to be farther. Like, I'm like, That is a lie. I'm supposed to be exactly where I am, right? So, I just please keep that in mind. Like, I was so distraught about where I was supposed to be and my brain was making me feel awful, like for for where I was and for, like, being the weak link and for not being strong enough and not being faster. And as soon as I was able to finally drop that resistance of where I was and accept where I was, it got easier.

Ascent three and four felt so much better because I finally let go of that plan and I was just like, okay, I'm just embracing where I am and, and the pace that I need to be at. And my resistance to that was only ever making things harder. I was making my pace. I mean, all kinds of things about my ability to, to be successful, all kinds of negative things about my preparation and my fitness and my body and my strength and my toughness. I just kept like my brain really wanted to, like, indict me and say like that I was just going to be a failure because of where I was at that point. And all of that was really unnecessary suffering. So, after I let that go, we had some lunch changed again. The next couple of ascents were much better.

So, just to give you an idea of kind of like the conditions themselves and why we kept having to change our clothes was like all day Friday was really misty and foggy, really, really cloudy and wet. We were literally walking through the clouds, hiking through the clouds up to the top of this mountain, which meant like when you were moving, I was really cold and shaking really hard. So, as long as I was moving, I was warm and I was actually sweating. So, I was like sweating through my clothes. And then also we had all this mist and wetness from from the surroundings. And so we'd get to the top and really be soaked and and then it was much colder at the top and we would be resting. And all of a sudden I would really start shaking and really shivering. And so, it became really important to change our clothes. And at the at the top, my mom and dad were there helping us and being our support crew. And she told me afterwards that she was afraid that I was going to end up with hypothermia and have to quit because I was like shivering so hard.

But we were able to kind of manage that by changing our clothes and getting the wet things off and trying to stay warm on the way down the gondola. And that brings me to lesson number four. And that is just that like an incredible support staff makes everything better. Like when you are in misery like it, it just helps to have somebody on your side and David and my parents were our incredible support crew. They would help and Sherpa our gear up to the top so that we could change and get in something dry. And they kept making sure that we had enough food, enough hydration, and they even brought blankets up to the top to wrap us in on the way down the gondola. And then while we were going up the next descent, they would dry all of our clothes and meet us at the top again. And they were the real heroes of the day. Just like making things a bit easier, they were always at the top, like shaking the cowbell and clapping and cheering for us and hugging us and carrying our poles. And as we went back to the to the lodge to sit down for a second before we got on the gondola.

And so, I was just so grateful for their love and support and care. I don't I'm sure I would not have made it without them. I know that for sure. So, just to kind of recap where we're at, we did to a sense we ate lunch. We did two more ascents and then we had dinner. And for me, the fourth ascent was like, almost delightful. It was by then my body really had, like, adjusted. My brain stopped arguing about where I was, and it was really, you know, a nice climb. And it felt probably the best of all of them so that felt really good going into dinner. But that said, I did stop at the recovery station after dinner. I, I stripped everything off, changed my clothes completely, and went to the recovery center where they just kind of like stretched out my lower back for a few minutes before we went down again. And the massage therapist there was like, I was shaking so hard, shivering so hard on her table. She was telling my husband, like, you got to get some hot water in her before she goes again, right? And I saw her after the event. The day after the event, the massage therapists where they they had the room open again and you could go in and get stretched out the day after.

And I ran into her and she's like, So how many did you get? And I said, Oh, I was able to finish. I got all the ascents and she was just shocked, you know, it's like you did. She's like, I thought for sure you were going to have to quit. Like, she saw me. So after that ascent that I felt like was so good, she was like, Yeah, she's done rightly so. So, on the outside, I did not look good, but that fourth ascent did feel probably the best of all of them. When I kind of learned in the end the lesson that I want to give you there is that that the star is the hardest part, right? The start is the only hard part. Once you get started, the rest of it kind of takes care of itself. And and, you know, that's not totally true because we're going to we're going to get to the later ascents and you'll see that. But I really found the hardest part for me was like getting off the gondola and like making myself go again. And once I took those first few steps up the next descent, like I felt like, well, after that, it just kind of happened. Like one foot just went in front of the other. And so, I think in your lives, like, just recognize that, like when you're at rest and when you're in that transition period, it's so hard to start again.

You're like, you just feel so much dread and your brain creates so much resistance every time you go to start. But once you get started, then it's just a matter of taking the next step and the next step. And it's sort of like becomes a perpetual cycle that just takes care of itself. And I think like the start of every cent was always the hardest. And, and, and once I got going, I just felt like, well, yeah, then of course I make it to the top. It was just starting the ascent that mattered, all right?

So, after dinner, that was by far our longest rest period. And, and we didn't start ascent five until 8 p.m.. So, it was dark. It was cold. We had another climber with us that she didn't want to hike in the dark alone. Her pace was a little bit slower than ours, which was amazing for me because then we we all went a little bit slower and that was our longest ascent. We did that one in 3 hours, 18 minutes. And in many ways it was also a really enjoyable ascent. It was dark and it was cold when you stopped, but it was also so beautiful. It was so peaceful in the mountains at night. And you could only really see a few feet in front of you because we were using headlamps. And that in some ways made it much less overwhelming, right? There are times on that mountain where the incline in front of you is so long and so steep and you can see all of it, and your brain is just like, why? And you just want to die. It's just so overwhelming. You don't want to, like, even start. But at night, all you can see is the next step in front of you, the next two feet.

And you really like even the incline. You lose perception, even if the incline. And so, in many ways it did feel a bit easier. It was less overwhelming to my brain and like that long incline that would kind of break your heart in the middle of the day. Like at night. You didn't even know where you were, right? You could always step you steps, you didn't know where you were, and so you just took the next. And you just took the next one. And like you always had the courage to take the next one. And so and I think that's a really powerful lesson. So, lesson six is that when things are hard, just zoom in to the next step, like shorten your lens to the next step that you have to take. Don't let how far you have to go or how steep it is or how hard it is. Get in your head. You only ever have one more step ahead of you. You only ever have one step to go, and you can always take one more. That's what I found. It's like I can always take one more. No matter how tired I am, I can take one more. So stay where your feet are and take the next step. And just like kind of think about that beam of light and just seeing right in front of you.

Okay, so we finished that fifth ascent at 11:20. By the time we made it back down the mountain, showered, it was 12:30. At this point we had completed five of the eight ascents and our plan had been, as I said, to have six. So, that was a little disconcerting. It meant that like now the clock was going to be a factor. I knew that we were averaging about 2 hours and 45 minutes, 3 hours per climb. And when you really factor in the recovery time and going down on the gondola and time to refuel and and do all that, like I knew we were going to be up against the clock. And so like I hope you can remember like in my naive pre events day, I had really like entertained delusions of grandeur that we'd be done in 20 hours or, or 24 at the latest, right? And here we were 18 hours in with, with only five done with three more to go. And it really made me realize that like we were going to have to really be on it and be watching the clock the next day. So, we went back to the hotel, got hot shower. Our plan was to sleep until 4:45 and then get up back on the mountain by six. And overnight I was just really, really sick to my stomach. I was up at least every hour in the bathroom, just really sick. And I also was super congested in my lungs because of like the dust and the spores and whatever else is in the rainforest that was in my lungs.

And so, I was up coughing and sick in the bathroom, and we woke up pretty rough and ready. I'll say that I tried to eat a little bit of oatmeal, but again, just felt really sick. We filled our water bottles, it was cold, it was dark. 6 a.m. we headed out again? And this was ascent six was by far for me the hardest ascent mostly just because I was feeling so nauseated, I had to stop at every single aid station along the way, go to the bathroom. It was definitely the hardest part of day two. The hardest part of the entire event for me was was that ascent. And it was just really difficult to manage your body's energy needs. You were burning so many calories and you knew that you had to refuel and replenish those or you weren't going to make it. And at the same time being so sick and so nauseated and knowing like everything you put in your mouth, you just wanted to like, gag and throw it up, right? And so, like, that really was a challenge for me getting enough calories that day and, yeah, feeling really awful.

And so several times on the way up ascent six I took I had to stop and like be sick. So, when I got to the top of ascent six I just stood there and sobbed. I just like bawled my eyes out and like, I know you're saying, Yeah, but April, you were crying on every ascent nd I was like, did I cry, Caleb is smiling and I was crying. But at the top of six I really broke down. And so, that brings me to lesson number seven which is never let how you're feeling in this moment decide how you're going to feel in all the moments, okay? As we started out on an ascent that morning, Coleen Rooney, who is like the voice of the mountain, she's there at the bottom helping you brand the board and she's there at the top when you when your red hat and she's just like kind of announcing and encouraging you and, you know, shouting out to you as you as you climb. And she was there and she said, like this 1%, don't let it mean anything about the future sense. And that was just like such a good thought for me in that moment, because that ascent was so hard.

Like, of course, my brain wanted to be like, okay, like we can't do anything harder. But I knew that, like, this was just one moment in time and this is just one point in the race, and it doesn't mean anything about any future moment in in, in the event. So wherever you are in your life, where however hard it is right now, it doesn't mean the future is going to be harder. This is just this moment. It's just this one. And and you don't have to make this moment mean anything about any future moment. So, as we were going back down the gondola after ascent six, I definitely had my lowest moment of the whole event. Like my dad asked me later, like what was the lowest point? It was definitely there. Like, I was filled with so much despair as I went down that gondola, thinking like I got to go again, right? And I told David like it was dread times 100. I was like, I think it was bordering on anguish, right? Like, I just couldn't bear the thought of having to turn around and climb again. And this broke my heart.

Every every foot that we descended in that gondola, like I knew what it cost on the way up. And it just broke my heart to be descending that and going down to the bottom where I was going to have to go again. And in so many ways, this this challenge, it was a physical challenge, but, you know, and a mental one, but such an emotional one for me. And I think maybe technically that's the same thing because our emotions are created by our thoughts. Maybe it's all just a mental challenge. But I was really feeling those feelings and and listen, managing my emotions throughout this entire event and continuing forward despite my negative emotion like was such a challenge was really tough.

And so, that gondola eventually reached the bottom and then there was nothing to do but start. And I remember just thinking that phrase that I've thought so many times in my life, which is this is the part where we are brave and you can feel dread and you can feel anguish and you can take the first step up that next ascent. And this is the part where you are brave. And that brings me to lesson number eight, which is your brain has to do what you say it doesn't matter what it wants, it has to obey. And that's the law. Like when your spirit says we're going, and when your spirit decides we're going, your brain has to obey. And I remember on that seventh aescent thinking like, if my brain could leave my body, it would be running away from me right now if it could leave. It would just be like pitching a fit. It would throw those stupid hiking poles and it would run away and it would never come back. It would not climb this mountain. But because it can't, I just had to keep taking the steps. It had to do what I said. And that is such a powerful truth to know that you have sovereignty over your life, over your body. You are so much more capable than what your brain says and your body, your brain, they have to obey when you require them to go.

And so we did a seven. I was hurting and it did feel better than number six. But by then, like, even my legs started to ache at that point. Like, honestly, my legs were not a problem for most of the event. Most of my pain was in my shoulder and my left elbow and then the nausea and yeah, you wouldn't it you wouldn't expect your shoulders to have to hurt during a hiking event. But I think because I had not practiced hiking with the hiking poles and like just the energy and, and like kind of the overcompensation that my shoulders were making for my legs throughout the event. Like, I was really, really sore in my shoulders. And really for the first time, my legs started complaining a bit on that 7th ascent, like my right hamstring, my right knee. They started to like bark a little bit on that seventh ascent. But in general, like I did feel a lot better than I had in the morning. And the best news ever was like, now we just have one more, Now we just have one more. So, when you get done with the seventh ascent, when you get to the bottom, they put a red bib, they replace the bib that you've been wearing and you get the final ascent bib, the red bib, which means like, this is it, this is the last time I'm going up.

And if I make it to the top, I get that red hat and I have ascended the equivalent of Everest and that last sat just feels so good. Like everything that you're climbing, you're like, This is the last time I'm going to see this, right? Every every landmark that you've that you've been noticing for the last day and a half, you know, this is the last time you're going to see it. The really hard stretches, the really hard grinds and like pitches. You know, this is the last time I'm going to do it. And that is a really good feeling.

So as we near the top, there's a little place where you come out of the trees and everybody that's waiting at the top can kind of see you. And so, Caleb and I stood there at the edge of the trees. We had kind of been watching the clock the whole way. And I had known when we got to the third station, it's about a 45 minutes from that third aid station. And, you know, it's just after four. I knew we were going to make it. I knew we were going to make it before the deadline. So as we stood there in the tree lines, we gave each other a hug. And then he started out because his pace was always a bit faster than mine. And we headed towards the top and. I wish I could describe to you the feelings I had in that last climb to the top. I was so overwhelmed with gratitude, with joy, with love, with pride. It was just like the ultimate feeling. And maybe that feeling is victorious, which, like if you think in your life, how many times have I felt victorious? Maybe not many. But it's an incredible feeling.

And as a as you climb to the top, there was Colin O'brady, who's like one of my heroes. I climbed Everest a couple of times and all the seven peaks and there he was so proud of me for doing this hike. And he hugged me. And then you walk this red carpet to the end. They open up the gate and you walk down the red carpet and the red Everest flags are flying. And at the end of it was David. And he just hugged me. And like all my family was there, my brother and his family were there, My parents were there, David was there, Caleb was there. They had my other kids were on the phone and we're FaceTiming in. And it's just one of those moments where you sort of feel like, Oh, this was going to be like when you pass through and go to the other side. And it was just such a triumph. I felt so victorious and with such an incredible feeling. And that brings us to the last lesson, which is that we are so much more capable than we believe.

We shortchange ourselves. At least our brains do. Our brains limit us. And they tell us, like, I don't know if you're capable of this. I remember so distinctly hearing that thought on a set one, and there I was. Afterwards, I told my brother like, you didn't have any business ever inviting me to this event or ever thinking I was capable of it. And he was just like, April, everybody's capable of it if they just keep going. And that's what I want you to know, that you are capable of anything if you just keep going. I feel like I was wrong about everything that I was capable of in my life. Like, I feel like I know things about myself now that I never knew were in there. And I feel so incredibly capable. Entirely capable. Like, I feel like it change the scale of challenges in my life. And I feel like there is a trust and a confidence with myself that I never knew was there. And when I want you to think about is what if it's all in your head? What if the things that you say you can do and the things that you say you can't do? What if they're just all in your head? What if they're just all made up and that you just need to start? And after that, you just take one more step and one more step. And one more step. Because I think if you do that, if you start and you just take one step after another, I think anything is possible. And that, my friends, is 100% awesome. I love you for listening and I'll talk to you next week.

Thanks so much for joining me on the podcast today. If you want to take the things I've talked about and apply them in your life so that you can love your Earth life experience. Sign up for a free coaching session at This is where the real magic happens and your life starts to change forever. As your coach, I'll show you that believing your life is 100% awesome is totally available to every one of us. The way things are is not the way things have to stay. And that, my friends is 100% awesome!

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