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The Change Challenge

 By. Allyson Callahan

I first discovered my passion for the outdoors, specifically the mountains of Colorado, when I was just a child. I remember climbing my first rock face when I was only about six years old, and then summiting my first 14er at age eight. Since those years, my passion for everything outdoors has only continued to increase. I cannot explain the rush I get when I send a new wall, summit a new peak, or shave a couple seconds off my run time. The pure ecstasy of life in Colorado just doesn’t compare to anything else I have ever experienced.

As a climber and active outdoorsman (woman, if you want to get technical), I know the importance of removing all of my valuable jewelry before any kind of expedition. Not only could my precious items be stolen or lost, but they could also break, or even hinder my athletic performance. As most athletes understand, jewelry and sports don’t usually mix well. Thank goodness for QALO. About a week ago, my first set of QALO apparel finally arrived in the mail. It was time to put these products to the test; and where better to do so than at my climbing gym?

As I began my ascent, I was slightly wary of the little burgundy loop around my right ring finger. I had never climbed with jewelry on before, and I had only ever heard horror stories about it. But as I pushed off from the starting boulder to the nearest handhold, I realized that this was no regular ring. In fact, it was actually quite comfortable, even unnoticeable. Only seconds later, I had completely forgotten I was wearing a ring at all. By the end of my climb, my hands were sore and ready for a rest, but my right ring finger felt no different than it usually would. I was extremely pleased, almost proud, as I rappelled back down to the gym floor.

Wearing a ring for the first time while climbing might not seem like a big deal, but to me it was almost revolutionary. In my mind, this small change felt daunting. It almost felt impossible at first. However, by trying something new, I discovered just how often I miss out on opportunities to challenge myself and prove myself wrong. This concept spans so many aspects of life. Think about it. How many times do we let ourselves down because we don’t even try? I don’t think I can count that high. Imagine if we weren’t so afraid of change. Imagine if we did little things every day that challenged us—mentally, physically, spiritually and emotionally. I have personally been working on attaining this as a daily goal in my life.

Talk to that cute guy at the store. Run an extra half mile. Use a thirty pound weight instead of twenty-five. Dare yourself to be better than yourself. After all, we may be our own worst enemies, but we can also be our own biggest fans. Instead of comparing yourself to someone else, compare yourself to the person you were a week ago. Are you constantly improving? And if not, why? What’s holding you back from being incredible? And why are you settling for second best? Go ahead. Prove yourself wrong. You might just find you can do the impossible.