Someone Has to Take the Lead

“Who wants dessert?”

I was out to dinner during Outdoor Retailer with a group from ClimbStuff (this post is not sponsored by them, but I am an ambassador because I genuinely think they’re awesome – and this dinner only further reinforced that feeling!). We’d had a great meal and a wonderful time getting to know each other.

When it came time to order dessert, everyone politely demurred until the waitress asked me. I couldn’t resist the beignets, so I decided to go ahead and order them. And, suddenly, it seemed, everyone wanted dessert.

As I looked around at everyone devouring their treats, I realized that it often takes one person to take the lead in order for lots of people to actually do what makes them happy.

I don’t know if I’d even be climbing outside in Colorado if it wasn’t for my friend who organizes climbing meetups. Just about every week, he takes the lead to get people together to get outside and climb. He doesn’t necessarily lead every route, but he will set up all the ropes if no one else can or wants to. And if he didn’t put in the effort to host these meetups, so many people who join them wouldn’t be getting the chance to climb outside.

I’ve also reached the point in my own climbing where it’s often up to me to take the lead and be the rope gun. When a group of us rolled up to Wall Street in Moab and saw that all the easy warm-up routes were full, I knew that it fell to me to put up a climb that was at my limit, unless we wanted to wait for quite awhile. Once I led it, my friends were able to try a fun climb, and I found out that what I thought was my limit might not actually be my limit after all.

I’ve been learning that you can’t always wait for someone else to take the lead – because they might not. If there’s something that you want to do, whether it’s have dessert, find climbing partners, or climb a challenging route, it’s up to you to make it happen.

Someone has to take the lead. Why shouldn’t that someone be you?

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