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How To Overcome a Setback as an Adventure-Seeking Goal Getter

Abbi Naylor - Expedition Leader. Outdoor Instructor. Adventurer & Endurance Athlete who completed 30 challenges to celebrate turning 30 in 2018!

With the goal of becoming the first woman to sail the 7 seas and climb the highest summit of the world’s 7 continents, Sara Hastreiter shows no signs of slowing down. She continually explores the globe as a professional sailor, popular athlete, and keen climber.

Sara has sailed the equivalent of 5 laps around the planet and has climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, Elbrus, and Aconcagua. “I am incredibly passionate about the exploration and protection of our planet,” Sara said. This Tough Girl raises awareness and funds for organizations such as World Hope International, Partners In Health Rwanda, The Magenta Project, and more while living out her passion to climb and sail.

Three weeks before she had planned to conquer Mount Elbrus, a dormant volcano in Russia which stands at a dramatic 5,642 metres, Sara ran into a major setback. After a long-awaited MRI, she discovered a tear in her MCL and a deep bone contusion on her tibial plateau. Doctors told her to “sit still”.

In spite of her knee injury, she remained bound and determined to heal within 21 days in order to climb the highest peak on the European continent. Sitting still was difficult for this adventure-seeking, goal getter, but she continued to persevere and overcome this speed bump with four key practices that she shared on the Tough Girl podcast.

1. Relax Your Mind

Sara realized how easy it was to slip into depression during this difficult period of recovery. Her body was chemically dependent on the stimulus she’d been producing from continual exercise, adventure, and being outside. Sara found that mediation allowed her to relax her mind as she focused on relaxing her body in order to physically heal.

When you encounter a setback that forces you to relax your body, spend time relaxing your mind. Begin new practices of journaling, meditation, or dabbling with your creative side to calm your mind when your body sits still.

2. Stop Being Hard On Yourself

Since her injury kept her from training, Sara felt guilty and began putting herself down. She continually struggled with feeling as if she had to do something every single day in order to achieve her goal. As her body continued to heal, she became comfortable with that fact that if she didn’t take the time to physically rest at that time, she would be set back further and further in the future.

It’s so important to give yourself a break, especially when you’re someone who is constantly seeking out goals. Your need to rest does not make you less than enough. It’s simply part of the journey.

3. Practice Patience

Sara realized that worrying and feeling guilty about her situation wasn’t speeding up the recovery process. She reminded herself that injuries heal and difficult times pass. She had to practice patience by intentionally accepting her current situation instead of forcing unmet expectations and negative feelings on herself.

Adopting a mantra like “This too shall pass” can help you remember that difficult times are temporary. You will get through it!

4. Be Kind To Yourself

Sara began treating herself with the amount of kindness she would freely give to someone who was injured. She came to the realization that her injury wasn’t the end of what she was trying to do, instead, it was simply a speed bump along her journey.

Being kind to yourself is a beautiful part of being human. Give yourself a break from pushing to reach your goals and be kind when you find yourself on a speed bump.

After three solid weeks of sitting still, Sara put away her crutches and climbed! She successfully conquered Mount Elbrus with the help of rest and healing. If she hadn’t listened to her doctors and embraced her situation, she would’ve injured herself more in the end which would have delayed her even longer from achieving her goals. Sara has since conquered all 7 seas and has only 3 mountains left to climb until she officially reaches her goal.

Slowing down and accepting setbacks may be difficult for many adventure-seeking Tough Girls. But implementing Sara’s four key practices can help encourage and motivate those who need to slow down, heal, and rest.

“You are free to shape your world however you want,” Sara said. She encourages Tough Girls to pursue their dreams, take the necessary actions to achieve them, and live an adventurous life.


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Twitter: @SaraSailingUSA


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