What Matters Most

What matters most to you and why?

I can’t stand carpet. The diverse and rugged terrain of the outdoors is undoubtedly superior. I find air conditioning annoyingly artificial compared with summer’s pure, refreshing breeze. And though it may be abnormal, I love to feel sweat dripping down my back during a fifty-mile bike ride. So last April when my parents suggested I start planning for a summer job, the beckoning of the great outdoors led me to an easy decision: I was going to work on a ropes course.

I found a six-day program to get my certification as a Level 1 Challenge Course Facilitator and enrolled immediately. The classes began simply enough as a small group sitting in a circle in the woods. The instructor gave talks on examining equipment for strength and comforting a nervous climber. We learned the difference between steel and aluminum carabiners, how to tie a bowline-on-a-bite in our ropes, and practiced performing a rescue fifty feet in the air. That was all to be expected, but I was surprised to find that I gained much more from the class than technical skills alone.

More than simply attaching pulleys to cables and fitting participants with harnesses, at their core, a good facilitator does what their name implies: they facilitate teambuilding and...

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