Year End Letter to the Community

While climbing, caving and running long distance it is inevitable that we come face to face with our fears and insecurities. When deep in a cave, surrounded by rock, runout above our last piece of protection or 70km into a 100km race our thoughts often get the best of us.

“How did I get here? I’m not strong enough, I don’t have enough training, I can’t do this,” and so on.  It is what makes these activities so powerful because in the end we have to admit, we may be scared or lack the confidence to overcome the obstacle in front of us.

In that moment we face our truest self and choose how we go forward. Do we accept the risk of failure and continue on? Do we retreat and train to get stronger and develop new skills before returning to the challenge? Staying where we are and worrying about what happens next only increases the chance that we will fall, get stuck or fail. This is the true nature of Progression: A steady movement to a more advanced state or place. While we may desire a different outcome, we must accept the situation, take the next best action and learn from the experience.

Looking Back on 2020

As we look back on 2020, we see that in life and business it’s no different. No one could have desired what has taken place. Like others around the world, Covid-19 has been difficult for  us and we have had to make tough choices to do what we can to survive and support our team and our community. While it has been difficult and frankly undesirable it has also forced us to look inward, much like in a cave and face our deepest fears and insecurities.

Through all the difficulty we have also been able to accomplish much taking advantage of the extra time and opportunities in front of us. This has included: An expedition to survey 14 caves in the Doi Angkhang area including 6 of the 10 deepest caves in Thailand, surveying more than 15 caves in Mae On including finding a new entrance to Muang On Cave, continuing development of climbing in Lampang, certifying more than 100 practitioners in Rescue3, WMA and CWA, and teaching climbing clinics at the TMSC Central Climbing Festival.  Perhaps most importantly climbing, caving and trail running are now part of the national discussion for development of outdoor recreation in Thailand as a tool for developing rural communities and creating new industries.

2020 has reminded us that like getting to the summit or discovering a new cave lead, patience is key and an acceptance that hardship is a necessary part of ultimate success. As Todd Skinner famously said,

“We cannot lower the mountain, therefore we must elevate ourselves.”

As we look ahead to 2021 we will practice patience, breathe and  recognise that there is always a more difficult objective waiting. We just don’t see it yet because of the mountain currently in front of us. We will do all we can to elevate our skills, knowledge and mindset  in our own progression so we can overcome the obstacles in front of us.

We sincerely hope that you, your family and your community have been able to reflect and discover your own caves and mountains this year and are able look ahead to new adventures in 2021, and continue to Fuel Your Progression.

Happy New Year!

Josh and Kat Morris

The Progression Group & CMRCA