Obstacles Or Features

obstacles or featuresAre the roadblocks in your life obstacles or features? “Stuff happens” and will happen that will slow you down or potentially derail you altogether. However, it is how you view this “stuff” and you respond to the challenges that will determine if you come out on top or not.

Obstacles Or Features

When I first moved to Aspen three years ago and began running and riding my mountain bike in and around Aspen I learned something very quickly. In this part of the state, up is UP meaning the climbs, the vertical gain, is not only steeper than I had ever experienced but also longer in duration. In other words, training here is tough and tougher than I was accustomed to.

It took only one weekend for me to realize that training here; if I trained regularly and right as I should, there was no way I was not going get stronger than I have ever been.

And I was right, and three years later I am realizing the “hills” that before might be huge obstacles which then might have been the final struggle in a workout are now features instead. I can now work with the terrain more to my benefit as opposed to always having the terrain working against me.

Obstacles or features – in a sense they are really the same thing but it is how you view them that makes the difference.

A few weeks ago when I was guiding for the Leadville Trail 100 Run Training Camp I tried to explain this theory to many of the runners that I was working with, particularly in how they view the double crossing of Hope Pass which is contained within miles forty through sixty of the Leadville 100 Running Race.

For most people they look at the Hope Pass section with dread, which is the most challenging part of the course, from Twin Lakes to Winfield and back to Twin Lakes. It’s only 20 miles but in that 20 mile out and back you gain nearly 12,000 feet in gain total topping out at 12,600 feet in elevation two times.

For those who see it as a feature of the course… that section is more manageable, and maybe even easy. For those who see it as an obstacle, it is more of a challenge and might not even be doable if they make it “bigger than it is” in their heads.

The roadblocks or even speed bumps in life can be viewed in the same way as runners see Hope Pass… Obstacles or features – are they things that will stop you dead in your tracks or things that are just part of the journey if you accept them as such.

It comes down to how you choose to see it and the key word here is “choose.” Obstacles or features – it is your decision to make in regards what it really is that you are facing. Is it something that is going to stop you or is it something that just presents a momentary challenge (a feature) in life that in the end just makes things more interesting?

Personally, I believe that challenges, more often than not, are simply opportunities in disguise. Many of life’s challenges come at us completely unexpected and when they do, they often loom large and seem intimidating at first. However, if you can remember that life’s challenges are the doorways to opportunities instead of roadblocks, it will give you a new and empowering perspective on things.

Andy Wooten M.A. Counseling – A Certified Life Coach In Aspen Colorado

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Photo By Andy Wooten 13 July 2016

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