Push Yourself, Find the Edge, and Safety Third

February 5, 2012

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For the last three days I’ve been with 120 entrepreneurs from the Entrepreneur Organization Seattle group at our annual retreat. We went to Victoria to grow closer as an organization as well as stretch ourselves both professionally and personally. One activity that we did was go to Wild Play, and go on their Monkido ropes course.

What’s Monkido

A monkido ropes course is a mix of obstacles such as tightropes, missing plank bridges, swinging logs, ziplines, and tree ladders ranging from 6 feet up to 60 feet above the ground! The course quires a ton of climbing, balancing, reaching, swinging, and jumping.  After the initial training session on what to do, it’s completely left up to you up to your own faculties to keep yourself safe. I thought this was interesting because it’s not like at an amusement park where there are people securing you onto each ride, it’s completely left up to you to ensure your own safety.

Physically and Mentally Stretching Yourself

I really liked the way the course was set up. They start you on the easy “bunny slopes” and progressively it gets more and more challenging until you’ve gone passed the intermediate all the way to the “black diamond” runs. While on the beginner courses we’re laughing, having a good time, joking with each other, and testing each other with dares. We gained all of our confidence on these relatively easy courses.

Photos Credit: Adam Philipp

Give Everything You’ve Got

By the time you get to the black diamond course, there’s no more joking and daring each other, its gone from fun to survival. Nearly every single course now requires you to have a mind-over-body focus. The distance between trees is now much longer, you’re now 60 feet up off the ground, and the puzzles are much more challenging. There’s also no way out. No way to turn around.

Safety Third

One of my friends, Chris Rugh, founder of Custom Toll Free had a saying which was “Safety Third”. I thought that was pretty funny as we were on a tightrope 40 feet above the ground. I think the first two rules are something like fun and function. For the most part, no one got injured so I think we did a pretty good job!

My Take Away

In life and business you have to push yourself, you need to know how hard you can stretch and push. You don’t know where the edge is if you don’t reach to find it. You need to know where the point is where your feet feel like lead and you just can’t move your feet anymore. It helps give you confidence to know you can do things that you didn’t think you could possibly do and to take on things that you’ve never done before. I can’t wait to take my thinkspace team on and have them try this out!