Paul Stoltz explains by anybody who isn’t a climber is, well, a loser.
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Dispatches, October 1998
So you think fending off that grizzly attack with your portable cappuccino-maker last summer on Glacier’s Ptarmigan Trail means you can cope with adversity, eh? Well, unless the encounter took place atop a 14,000-foot peak, don’t bet on it. At least that’s the view of Paul Stoltz, 38, a motivational consultant from Flagstaff, Arizona, and author of
Claiming that the most important ingredient of success is the ability to bounce back from adversity, Stoltz believes that people fall into one of three categories. At the bottom of the ladder are “Quitters,” pathetic failures who “abandon the climb,” choosing instead to “opt out, cop out, back out and drop out.” Only slightly higher on the evolutionary hierarchy are “Campers,”
Not surprisingly, Stoltz considers himself a Climber (he has scampered up a number of 5.10 pitches in Yosemite and the Tetons). He says he gravitates toward images of climbing because “the sport involves raw courage, and because it’s so much about self-sufficiency.” His wall-rat metaphors have made a splash with clients like Motorola and Marriott, which are attracted to the
While Adversity Quotient has sparked interest from as far afield as governments in South America and the Singapore school system, its impact at home offers an indication of how deeply the extreme sports vogue has penetrated mainstream America. Indeed, Stoltz has been granted the coveted opportunity to bask in the imprimatur of pop culture’s most