Rock Climbing and Testing Your Limits!

This past Wednesday we went indoor rock climbing, and it was loads of fun....after the first climb!

The first climb was very, very nerve racking. I was being billeted by an instructor at the facility so I knew logically that he would not let me fall to my death, but still, in the back of my head, I have to admit I was wondering how much I could trust this guy to save me, as I would, inevitably, slip.

About half-way up the wall, I felt the slow rise of panic: my breathing became shallow; I broke out in a cold sweat; I desperately wanted to let go to get back to the solid ground below. The only problem was that my daughter was on the wall next to me (a lot farther down) watching me climb. I could not, or should I say 'would not,' stop with her watching. I knew she was nervous; I knew my girlfriend who was billeting her wouldn't let her crash; I knew she was perfectly safe.

So the big question was: why was I feeling so unsafe?

I made myself keep climbing that first wall. I made it to the top! When I came down to the bottom, I decided I needed to go up another steep wall hanging onto tiny little holds again, and right then, before I lost my nerve. Sure enough, after that first climb, the rest became a least in my head! My body was screaming in exhaustion!

And my daughter? Well, she didn't make it to the top of that first wall. She asked to come down. A few minutes later, she asked to climb a shorter wall. Did she make it to the top? No. But, with each partial climb, she went a little higher. Finally, she made it to the top of a short wall! And, she wants to go back again to do it again!

Sometimes, the lessons in life can never be prepared for in advance: I had rock climbed years ago; I knew it was perfectly safe to do in my head; I nearly gave up half-way through my first climb. My lesson of the day was: if you know something is safe to do, push yourself to keep trying it until you get past your body's initial response of fear.

Thank goodness I trusted my logical head because I had a great time with friends, got a fabulous workout, and challenged myself. All-around, it was a great day!

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