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In this breaking down progress keynote mountaineer and explorer Alison Levine talks about her climb up Mt. Everest and how the life lessons she gained on that trek can be applied to anyone who is trying to reach for the top.
Mt. Everest is not a straightforward hike; climbers have to constantly come back down to base camp after making extraordinary progress up the mountain in order to let their body acclimatize. While this exacts an extreme physical toll on the body, the psychological frustration of having to climb down rather than up is even worse. However, going backwards is still making progress as Levine points out. Sometimes it’s necessary to backtrack in order to advance further.
Past a certain point on the climb Alison describes her progress as five to ten breaths per step. While she didn’t think she could make it to the top, she continued to set mini goals for herself using landmarks in the distance. By breaking up her ultimate goal into smaller ones she noticed herself being pushed passed what she thought she could do.