First Ascent Ideology

first ascent “In wisdom gathered over time I have found that every experience is a form of exploration.”
― Ansel Adams

So you want to leave the mundane day-to-day. You want to get out and explore, maybe even a first ascent. Good, now go out and do it.
“But I have work, too many things to finish before I…” This is always going to be the case; there will never be the “perfect” time to make your move on this idea. There will always be some reason not to do something. This is where you take a leap of faith, pick up a pen and paper, and then proceed to jot down a plan to exit your current condition. Once you’ve taken this first step, you’ve completed the most important step– overcoming the common fear of “loss”.

An essay covering the topic of “loss” could go on for pages and pages… something that there isn’t enough time to cover in this blog. But just keep that concept in mind as we progress through the ideology that carries ideas such as a ‘first ascent’.

In 2010, a group of three friends decided to take this ideology and bring it to life with a cycling trip of a lifetime. Ace, Julie, and Davin all being avid cyclists, brought a plan and a dream to fruition. Realizing they all wanted to do something out of the ordinary and close to their hearts, they landed on a trip cycling from Northern California to Central and South America.

There are only simple goals here, from their own mouths: “searching for local movements that focus on community. [Their] route will be determined by word of mouth and capture the adventures these individuals find along the way.” In the process they decide that the magnitude of this kind of trip and/or idea needs to be documented. Et voilà, a documentary film, “Revolutions Southward” is born.

Even though this crew only made it to Mexico City, the dream and goal was realized via impromptu side routes, acquaintances, and dozens of stories usually found in fictional novels. More importantly, they conquered the common fear of venturing out and away from the daily grind. This is seen and made evident in their blog here.

Even though a bike trip from California to Mexico isn’t technically a “first ascent,” the courage behind it reflects a sense of vertical movement needed by the vast majority stuck in a lateral system. Bringing yourself to this level on a regular basis requires some training, and isn’t easily processed by the normal brain. Our biggest fears of “loss” are put to the test; we are face to face with the battle between what’s lost and what’s gained. However, the decision to bound forward brings with it an instant victory; you have just made your own “first ascent”. Don’t lose momentum, see it through, and make another.