I would never do that

Posted on November 2nd, 2011

Things have been insanely busy lately with Bearded Brothers so I haven’t had much time to blog here, but hope that will change as the business becomes more self-sustaining. But, today I find myself sitting in my favorite coffee shop with a bit of time to kill. So, I thought I would write a blog I had thought about several months ago.

“I would never do that”, is something I have said many times. Many of the times it has been climbing related, other times fitness or goal related.  Despite having said that, many times I find myself doing the very thing I said I would never do.

When I first started rock climbing I felt safe in the realm of top rope climbing and said to myself I will never sport climb; but quickly realized my climbing options were very limited without that skill set. So, I set off to learn how to become a sport climber. This opened up lots more possibilities to where I could climb. Rather than being stuck at a crappy conglomerate stone crag in West Texas, I was able to venture to places such as Shelf Road in Colorado and Horseshoe Canyon in Arkansas.

Phillip Snow on First Blood (5.9) at Shelf Road, a popular sport climbing crag in Colorad.

The next thing I caught myself saying I would never do was trad climbing. But if you have been following this blog for any length of time, you will know I’m an avid trad climber. I would much rather spend a full day climbing 3 – 12 pitches high above the earth, than climbing just a few hard sport climbs. Trad climbing has opened up endless potential in terms of climbing.

Since taking up trad I have made many ground up first ascents of previously untouched rock. I have blazed my own trail up the East Face of Longs Peak when the start of the partially bolted route was covered in snow. There is a much greater since of satisfaction having climbed a route while placing your own gear than merely clipping a pre-drilled bolt. On top of that, I get to climb in places a majority of climbers will never even dream of. It has even allowed me to use my skills to guide groups of other climbers with the non-profit organization Ascend Outdoors.

I have even said this about running and triathlons. When I first started running I thought I would never run more than three or four miles, but one day after running six miles I was challenged to enter a half marathon. I replied, “no way, that’s not for me”. In other words, I would never do that. But, after researching the training required I realized I was half way to being able to run a half marathon with plenty of time left before the Dallas White Rock Marathon, so it was at that time I became a runner.

After having run several half marathons I knew several people that participated in triathlons, and again I said, “I would never do that”. Fast forward to over a year later I find myself starting my training for the Austin Triathlon, in which I finished 17th out of 71 in my age group. Once again, having said I would never do something, I found myself doing that very thing.

View of the Olympic Distance swim from the Lamar Pedestrian Bridge. I was in the 700m swim that turned just before the train tracks. My friend John's wife Brenna took this photo.

My latest business endeavor, Bearded Brothers was another such thing I told myself I would never do. Even though I had always wanted to own my own business, I told myself I didn’t want the responsibility, but looking back on it now I see that it was just fear. Now I am fully emerged creating, selling, and marketing the best energy bars on the planet. We are just 7 months into the venture and already have a presence in nearly 50 retail locations. We are currently working on getting our product into larger grocery stores such as Whole Foods.

So, the lesson to be learned here is, never say I would never do that, because you just might. And, if you catch yourself saying it – realize it could be fear holding you back. It’s likely just an excuse to not try something you really do want to do out of fear of failure or putting in the time it takes to learn it. When in doubt, just go for it!