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The Double-Send: Are You Meeting Your Goals With Balance?

Playing in the Box Canyon, Maple Canyon, Utah

Double-sending. In the climbing world, this can have varied meanings. It is used when a climber "sends" (completes the climb without falling or hanging on the rope) two project climbs in one day. It also describes two sends by male and female members of a couple in one day - ""his and hers" sends, if you will. But on a recent weekend when my husand and I took our 8 month old daughter on her first outdoor climbing and camping trip, we thought of another meaning for the double-send. He was working on a newly constructed hard route in the area, and I was working on "projecting" something other than a pregnancy after 3 years of fertility struggles. While we both sent our routes, the "double" part of the send in our minds came with the successful completion of our respective goals during a successfully nonstressful family trip. Weather was great. The baby played all day. Everyone, including the dog, had a good time. All family members remained happy and healthy. No major dramas, no emergencies, no big setbacks in the setting of achieving the climbing goals.

When is the last time that you achieved a goal or completed a challenging project? How did it affect the other parts of your life? Setting a new standard of success is a great thing, but if it comes at the expense of your mental or physical health, it's difficult to appreciate what you've really accomplished. We've all been there - we study hard for a big test, stay up late to complete a work assignment, etc., and a few days after it's over, we get sick. A relationship ends. Some other aspect of our lives falls apart. I distinctly remember the last time this happened to me; I spent months studying for the anesthesiology oral board examination while working as a new anesthesiologist, and promptly after it was over we escaped to the Florida Keys for a celebratory vacation. On day two, I got some sort of flu-like illness and had to spend the next few days inside.

Sometimes sending involves a sacrifice of health, relationships, or happiness. So when you're struggling to complete a difficult task, think about whether you're sending with balance. If you are, then consider that a double-send. Celebrate your hard work AND your health! If you're not, then consider the price you may have to pay in order to send. Is it worth it? Maybe yes and maybe no.


  1. A month ago I presented at international women's conference. It felt great, all the hard work paid off. I met a lot of interesting ladies that inspire me. I saw a part of Europe I have not seen before. I feel recharged and ready to accomplish more professionally and give my time and energy to my family again. I like doing smaller scale projects that I can complete without too much stress. And I feel fulfilled at the end.

    1. Thanks for sharing; this is a great example of success with balance! Scaling things in an approachable way helps a lot.


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