Sunday, March 29, 2009

Hello from Haas

One of Brian Maxwell's favorite books was The White Spider by Heinrich Harrer. This story of the daring and committed first ascent of the North Face of the Eiger, a daunting mountain in the Alps, no doubt spoke to Brian about the intrinsic value of pushing oneself to achieve, independent of external reward and regardless of others' skepticism. Harrer says, "We climbed the Eiger's North Face because the very aspect of it proved an irresistible challenge to our courage and to our love of adventure." Seeing the parallels in that climb to the adventure that we each undertake through our lives and careers is a reminder and motivator that no reward comes without risk and sacrifice, that most real accomplishments are the result of multiple individuals working together as a cohesive unit, and that there is inherent value in pushing oneself to accomplish more than previously thought possible.

It's no surprise that Brian found inspiration in this work. He lived its principles, pushing himself in every way through his athletic, professional, and personal pursuits. Of course Brian's unique drive, ability, and perspective led to inevitable success and impact. We, the Brian Maxwell Fellows, similarly draw inspiration from Brian's driving spirit, giving nature, and undying will. These reminders dare us to dream big, encourage us to persevere, and inspire us to drive change. After all, for many years it was said that the North Face of the Eiger simply could not be climbed...

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