Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Climb


When I was in my early 20s and dating John he became quite a good rock climber. We lived in Colorado then and his passion for surfing was put on hold while he was in this land locked state. Rock climbing seemed to fit the bill. In the winter he would go to climbing gyms and in the summer he would spend his free time on belay among all of the incredible rock formations around Boulder. Fortunately he had a few friends who loved to do that with him.

I am a pansy of a thrill seeker - I like roller coasters and that sort of thing and I have never been afraid of heights - but the idea of rock climbing seemed pointless and boring to me at the time. After much convincing (and lots of excuses from me) he finally brought me with him to try it.

We found a beautiful spot with a rock face about 25 feet tall. He gave me a lesson on safety and assured me that the ropes would hold me - he taught me how to find foot holds and finger holds etc. I then started my climb. The first part was easy - "what's the big deal" I said to myself. But then, at about 14 feet up, I looked down (my hands are sweating as I type this remembering the feeling). Panic overtook me faster than any other emotion. It did not creep in - just smacked me right in the face. This wasn't logical. I was hanging by my fingertips from a rock face and at any moment I could fall. John saw it right away and tried to calm me down. "You are perfectly safe" he would say. "I've got you". But I was paralyzed. I could not move at all. I tried to overcome my terror but it was too strong. John told me to just "let go" so I could see that I wasn't going anywhere but that did not make sense to me. I was hanging on to this rock and trying desperately to hang on to my control.

I eventually climbed down - with a lot of tears and embarrassment. I didn't try it again until much later and even then the rock face was much easier to climb.

I still remember that day in detail. When I look back on it now it is easy to see that if I was climbing that rock alone and without help I surely would have fallen. It is easy to see that all I needed to do was trust John. Trust that I would be OK. All I needed was a little more faith. Faith in God, in myself, in John, in the situation (even if I did fall I would have been OK).

When we embark into the unknown - we need someone with us. It may only be God or it may be Him and the huge posse of people we surround ourselves with. I regret that I didn't finish that climb - of course I wouldn't have had that experience to reflect on today if I had. The point is - if we don't try, if we don't fail, if we don't trust - where are we? No better off and stagnant.

Let's make 2011 a year of surprises. Let's see if we can put our trust in others and in ourselves and try new things.
Let's climb.

1 comment:

"effervescencia" said...

Sometime, this year, go back to it! Once your health is even better than now, go climb the same rock. Eliminate your regrets!