Updated: Jan 8
I've been trying to piece together my thoughts on my rock climbing adventure in Colorado. And to be honest I'm having trouble putting it down on paper. Maybe it's because it feels so different than my sky diving experience. Maybe it's because no one believes that it would be hard for me to experience this kind of adventure when I've been sky diving twice. I had such an exhilarating and freeing experience with sky diving. Three hours of rock climbing, rappelling, jumping off an 8ft bridge, left me feeling quite different. I had a death grip on those iron rods and ropes for THREE hours. By the end I was shaken to the core and energetically drained. And yet, I'm so glad that I didn't chicken out. You see, there are several points on the course you can tap out. You can "take the walk of shame" around the mountain. But I stuck it out! I'm so glad that I went through with the hard thing. I knew it was going to be tough for me, but I honestly didn't expect it to be that hard. Even after two days, my whole body was so sore. Not from the climbing but from the "I'm so freaking scared" death grip. I was doing all the deep breathing and mind work during that three hours, and yet I was still scared and still doing the hard thing.
Why would anyone do it? Why did I do it?
1. I have teenage boys. I want desperately to make fun memories with them before they go off to their college lives. 2. I have a very adventurous husband who likes to create experiences for our entire family. 3. I wanted to do something that scared me and was just out of my comfort zone. I checked off all three boxes. The only part of this that wasn't quite right--it was WAY out of my comfort zone. When we arrived, I had the option to tap out. I said NO--get me a ticket. I thought there would be ONE climb and some zip lining. I didn't really know what I was getting into! To be honest as the hours ticked on I kept thinking....when is this going to be over? I kept reminding myself to lean in--to enjoy the experience. Yet every cell in my body was screaming at me. Not the freedom I was hoping to feel.
Here's what I've learned....
1. I can do the hard scary thing even when my body and mind are saying otherwise. 2. Creating challenging opportunities and conquering them is well worth the physical and mental pain. 3. I'm stronger than I thought. 4. Being free isn't always about the feeling of exhilaration. 5. I'm still afraid of heights. Yeah...you read that correctly. I'm still afraid, and if I had to do it again, I know I could do it. 6. Never look down. I mean that in every sense. Keep your eyes fixed on your goal. When we look back it leads to regret, rejection, and possibly depression. Looking forward means possibility, a finish line, a goal to complete. 7. Creating memories that will last me a lifetime of smiles, laughs, and conversations is priceless. 8. I have a deep appreciation for my Uncle Mike who caught all of life on his huge camcorder when I was growing up. Aging puts everything into perspective. 9. It doesn't serve anyone (including myself) to play small. Growing means learning and doing. 10. We need people in our lives who support our crazy ideas and encourage growth. Did you hear my hubby in that video? The rock climbing was his idea! He's always pushing me outside my comfort zone and cheering me on. I wouldn't have done this if it wasn't for him. Who's in your community creating adventure and cheering you on?
Get out there and play bigger my friend. Create adventure and joy and do it with community. Get out of your box, do the hard scary stuff and experience the life you were meant to live!