Phase III: Focus on the Future with Positivity

Warriors leader John Toth standing by a lake

Man, it was hard. Intense? I’d say so.
Physical adversity, no doubt – pushed me to my limits.
Exposed my weaknesses – showed me my strengths.

Phase II – Transformative experience. Check. But, what’s this Phase III thing?

Returning from an expedition is kind of like returning from a deployment.

When you’re on a deployment… things are real. No joke mission. Tight-knit team. Challenging environments. All that and sandstorms too.

Expeditions have a similar feel.
Like your military mission, your purpose – your mountain is right in front of you.
Your battle buddies – your rope team – is right beside you.
You’ve gained separation from “the world” and have time to think, reflect, and talk with someone else who’s been there.

Warriors tying knots on the side of a mountain
Then, all of a sudden, you’re back home. There’s this void.

You try to describe what you’ve been through: the physical pain, the exhilaration, and the bond you feel with your team. Your spouse doesn’t seem to get it. They weren’t there; it’s hard to describe. The magic of transformation is difficult to put into words.

You feel a longing to be back out there. It was simple. Hike, climb, bond. Repeat.

You start to feel rudderless. Longing for a challenge. Searching for purpose. You come down from the euphoria you felt at your expedition high point. You miss your rope team. Sometimes, you start to spiral downward again.

You look for someone to connect with again. Someone to talk to. Someone to reflect on what you just did. Remind you of the goals you set.

You need a safety net, something to catch you. Give you a shot in the arm. Something to maintain the momentum you built coming down from the summit.

That’s the start of Phase III, where the expedition leadership team reach out to participants. See how they are doing. Remind them that they are part of the No Barriers Rope Team, focus on the future with positivity, and let them know that there’s more to come.

Warriors hiking in the mountains of Colorado