Loveland, OH- For Loveland resident, business owner, and mountaineer Matt Brennan, failure is just another step to greater success. On March 25th, Brennan set out with one goal: to summit the world’s tallest mountain. Through a nearly lifetime of training and months of rigorous preparation, Brennan attempted what no other Cincinnati-area resident had. Although he didn’t reach the top (due to an injury) he plans to utilize his defeat in order to push himself to a new height next year, when he will attempt again.
Brennan ascended Mt. Everest with a group of climbers and guides. He attended a Puja ceremony, in which Sherpas asked the Mother Goddess of the Earth for permission to climb the mountain. Brennan made friends and camped at the bottom of a natural formation so large it can change one’s entire perspective on their place in the world.
“The scenery is hard to really capture in a picture. When you’re standing there, you have these huge mountains all surrounding you and you’re just so small and so insignificant. It’s just really an amazing feeling[…] It’s really hard to describe,” Brennan told Loveland Magazine over a phone interview.
Matt Brennan climbed 21,000 feet (8,000 feet from summiting) before turning around due to a torn groin muscle. Although he did not finish the ascent, he made it over seventy percent of the way and achieved something very few ever have.
“I was in the greatest climbing arena in the world. I climbed up that mountain, I just didn’t make it to the top”
“I was in the greatest climbing arena in the world. I climbed up that mountain, I just didn’t make it to the top,” Brennan explained.
Brennan brought a football to share with the Sherpa guides, a specially-evolved ethnic group known for the mountaineering expertise. An errant catch caused black-and-blue bruising and a torn muscle that Matt Brennan attempted to treat and ignore through the rest of his climb. Eventually, he agitated the muscle again causing swelling, pain, and discoloration. After deliberation, Brennan decided to take a helicopter back to basecamp for his own personal safety.
“Once I got up to the Western Cwm, I realized I had to go back down. And I had never gone back down, everything had been uphill. So getting up there and looking at the Lhotse Face [a nearly vertical cliff], it was like ‘I think I can get up that thing, but I’m not sure I’m getting down’,” Brennan told Loveland Magazine in an interview.
A helicopter picked Brennan up in order to bring him to a hospital to asses his injury. Intense weather conditions forced the pilot to fly thirty feet above the ground sideways in order to gain a sense of direction.
Upon doctor examination, Brennan was told to rest for fourteen days. This marked a point of no return– proof that Brennan had failed his mission to summit Mount Everest. The climb was over, and Matt Brennan returned home.
However, Brennan feels that in most ways the climb was a success. He reflected positively on the trek, claiming that it was “an incredible experience” and that he learned a lot about the mountain. He continued to explain in an interview that his failure to summit has only encouraged him to push harder for his upcoming return.
“If you hit all your goals, you’re not reaching far enough.”
“I think failure is inevitable if you’re reaching for big goals. If you hit all your goals, you’re not reaching far enough. So, I look at failure as part of the process. You have to fail in order to keep pushing yourself to really to achieve those big goals,” Matt Brennan claimed.
Brennan has already booked another Everest climb and will return March 24th. Brennan refuses to give up and, rather, chooses to use his failed summit as further motivation.
“That mountain will be there for me next year, and I’ll be ready to go,” Matt Brennan concluded.
Jarvis Global is an investment advisory firm in Symmes Township, Ohio which offers private portfolio management and retirement services to high net worth individuals.