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We’re All in it Together

Jul 27, 2012

by Brom Hoban, TSSA Director of Communications

We all struggle to make it to the top. And yet when the going gets toughest, we all help each other. It’s one of the amazing things about human nature. This can be observed in a wide range of areas, from business, to education, to physical endeavors.

While on vacation a week ago, I experienced how powerful this social dynamic can be, during a grueling climb up part of Pikes Peak in Manitou Springs, Colorado.

The Manitou Incline is s a crazy-steep ascent up the mountain. Built in 1907, the Manitou Incline was a one-mile cable tram built to support the construction of a hydroelectric plant and it's waterline. At the time, it was claimed to be the “longest and highest incline on the globe.”

Today, what’s left is a series of railroad tie steps going up the mountain--2,800 hundred in all--rising from about 6,500 feet to over 8,500. That 2,000-foot climb is at a grade comparable to ascending Mount Everest, and it’s followed by a four-mile jaunt down to get to the bottom of the mountain. Making it even tougher, is the fact that there’s less oxygen to breathe at this altitude.

While going up, the average grade is greater than 50%, and if that doesn’t mean anything to you, let me put it this way: some people use their hands as well as their legs.

All manner of folks go up the Incline, from Olympians who train at the nearby Colorado Springs Olympic facility, to average people looking for a challenge.

But here’s the great thing: when thrown together with others all striving for a common goal, it acts as a bonding experience that brings out the best in all.

As my family and I made our way up the hill, we all found encouragement from others. Everyone rests on the way up- there’s no way around it. I stopped many times, and chatted with those around me. One young woman helped pace me, and we traded support back and forth as we climbed and rested.

My wife, further down the mountain, was having a harder time. As she was near giving up, some people stopped to offer her a granola bar and a bottle of Gatorade.

Buoyed by the aid, she dug down and made it to the top.

I’ve found that this kind of social support extends to business as well. You can see it at the TSSA board meetings when the directors unite to help provide resources and improve the self-storage industry. And you can see it in cities and towns across Texas. Many self-storage facility owners and managers are happy to direct prospective tenants to other nearby facilities if they themselves are full or do not have the type of unit available that the person is looking for.

And at the annual TSSA Convention and Trade Show, you can see people networking and trading tips on everything from how to drill a lock to when to raise rents- they’re all helping each other.

So join us this October (14-16) in San Antonio, and experience the surge of support that results when people get together to pursue excellence.

Remember: we’re all in it together.

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