"Fortune favors the bold." - Virgil
This past Thursday on NBC’s The Today Show Matt Lauer visited the Jungfrau Observatory in the Swiss Alps. In this segment he met up with legendary climbers who reach great heights. Specifically he focused on three climbers and their motivations, techniques, and focus used to climb the iconic north face of the Eiger Peak (elevation 13,000 feet). All three men had something to say that reminded me of the dangers of sex addiction and the sometimes unimaginable quest in reaching the summit of successful recovery.
First, the story of John Harlen, the first American to climb the steep and craggy north face of the Eiger tells the tale of obsession, motivation, and the quest for redemption. Four years after solidifying his place in history as the first American to climb the north face, Harlen died taking a more direct route up in 1962. Sex addiction is a diesease of incresing escalating behaviors. Some may die in the quest for even greater new heights.
Spoiler Alert: This post is about the recent movie The Big Year starring Steve Martin, Jack Black, and Owen Wilson. If you want to see it, reading further could ruin it for you. I thought it was a pretty good movie, however, our American viewing audiences might not agree. This movie does not have copious amounts of violence, sex, or action other than obsessed men on the hunt in competition to view the most species of birds in one year. Three disparate men, each facing unique personal and relational challenges, try to outdo each other in the ultimate bird-watching competition.
This past month I attended the SASH conference (Society for the Advancement of Sexual Health) in San Diego. The list of professional presenters and topics these professionals lectured on were quite impressive. Presenters included such industry standouts in the field of Sexual Compulsivity, Addiction, and Trauma included: Dr. Patrick Carnes, Alex Katehakis, Rob Weiss, Terry Real, Dr. Janina Fisher, and Kelly McDaniel. There is exciting research coming out of a field which is working together to help those in need of healing from this addiction. I was grateful to spend time with those in the industry on the frontline of research at a national level. These clinicians and researchers help further knowledge, understanding, and help alleviate the pain and symptoms of those who struggle.
“In my preparation for the race I am focusing on what I can influence for top performance and letting the actual result of the race come as it will." -- Ruthie Matthes
I spend a lot of time training for events in my life both personally and professionally. I am a goal oriented person. I attribute much of the achieved success I have aimed for in my life to goal setting and surrounding myself with a supportive network to achieve those goals. I have thought how similar that is to those I see who are successful in their recovery processes from addiction. Nowhere in my life is that training more evident than in the endurance sports I engage in and the circle of endurance athletes I am privileged to observe and hang with.