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Crawlers Ledge (part 1)

The phone call was to the direct and to the point. The idea was invigorating.  The action was definitely a “bucket list” quest. The sales pitch to my wife, well that was a lot more complicated.  My friend Geoff had this idea for us to hike the world famous Kalalau Trail. This 11 mile long trail, crossing five valleys, tests your strength and endurance with over 3500ft of elevation gain. And that is just one way – you have to hike back out. I immediately said yes! Kim graciously extended a nod and a smile – but she had an angle.

I have thought a lot about the Kalalau Trail over the past several months as I’ve processed the entire experience. Beyond the all out assault on our physical bodies, the mental battle was deafening at times. The 50-pound pack made every step a challenge, not because of endurance, but because of the hazardous conditions and unpredictable terrain.  Sections of trail that narrowed to ludicrous widths sent my adrenaline raging as I stared at a 1000 foot drop onto the jagged coastline. Plus there were many technical sections that we had to carefully climb over. (Did I mention a 50-pound pack?)

It was mile seven, heading from Ke’e Beach to Kalalau Beach, that caused us great concern. This half-mile section of  trail was aptly named “Crawlers Ledge”.  It narrows to eighteen inches in places, and has a sheer rock face going up on one side and over a thousand foot drop to the jagged shore on the other side.  The sign before this section simply says: WARNING Hazardous Cliff! The ground may break off without warning and you could be seriously injured or killed. Stay back from the edge. One misstep. One mental lapse. One loose rock. One overly aggressive mountain goat. (That is a story for another time.) The results would be life-ending.

I learned something important about fear during this experience.  Fear is a powerful emotion. If directed and handled carefully, it can save your life. If misdirected and mishandled, it has the potential to wreak havoc internally.


  1. Fear thrives in the future, but also messes around with your past and current situations.

  2. Fear monopolizes your mental processing with what if and how will I questions.

  3. Fear polarizes your mind with every possible worse case scenario.

  4. Fear forces you into inaction.

  5. Fear influences your decision making.

  6. Fear isolates you from others.

  7. Fear cannibalizes your energy and obstructs forward movement.

The question isn’t, do you have any fear? Everyone has fear. The question is, what do you fear?

  1. Do you fear peoples’ opinions about you and your leadership decisions?

  2. Do you fear making the wrong decision or failing?

  3. Do you fear not measuring up?

  4. Do you fear health issues?

  5. Is fear intensifying your insecurities?

Step #1: Identify your fear

It is critical to clearly grasp on the fear(s) that is lurking underneath the surface – waiting to take control of your life.

Once you have identified the fear,  it is time to leap into action.

More on that coming in part 2.

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