Is someone more humbled by a difficult task if they try and fail, or if they are victorious. I’ve always wondered what some top level athletes meant by claiming they are humbled by winning a championship or completing an incredibly difficult physical task. They have just done something that very few people ever come close to accomplishing, and in some cases are literally the best in the world at what they do. How can a person feel so humble in this moment? I have never accomplished anything even close to being the best at a sport, or holding a world record, but I have a theory that feeling stems not from accomplishing the task, but the respect for the task itself.
Recently I ran up the CN Tower in support of United Way Charity. Initially, I thought this would not be that difficult a task to accomplish in a respectable amount of time. I was wrong. I thought that I was athletic enough to keep a decently fast pace for the whole height of the tower. I was wrong. When I started the climb, I was running, thinking I would be passing people the whole way no problem. People who I felt I should be passing. Older women, younger kids. By the 25th floor I was just as slow as them, and was being passed by them, a few being older women and younger kids. I reached the top, but with a time which sufficiently humbled me. In this case I was humbled because I failed at the task at hand.
Being humbled by the task at hand because you’ve been wildly successful at it, I theorize can be a similar, but very different feeling. An individual who has mastered a skill understands the struggle, the work, the risk, and the sacrifice that this skill requires. It is not something to be taken lightly; and in understanding this, it is not a case of being humbled by your own shortcomings. It is a case of being humbled by understanding the scope of what it took to get your there.
Will the first man who walks on Mars be amazed at his own accomplishment? Or will he simply be amazed that he is walking on Mars.
Just wanted to show a cool clip of a guy who can actually climb. Really really well.