Last night I went on a scary date.
It was scary because I am very afraid of heights. It is maybe my only fear and I have had it my whole life. It has stopped me from doing many things. I hate myself when I can’t do something because of a fear.
When we arrived at the climbing gym my mouth was hanging open. Here it is Friday night and all these people could have chosen to do anything they wanted. And they chose this? What is even more bizarre is that they appeared to be liking it.
When my friend proposed this and asked if I was in, I said yes and he said “You are a brave girl (he knows my fear of heights and pushed for this because of it). We will go slowly.”
This was comforting, the week was busy and I thought of it very little until I got to the gym.
When you are fearful and have to sign an assumption of risk waiver, your fear rises exponentially like galloping horses approaching across an open field. Blah blah blah, injury, blah blah blah paralysis, blah blah blah faulty equipment blah blah blah death. The words echo off the walls with deafening tone.
We put on our gear and began our lesson. My brain was not working it seemed, fear making me simple. The instructor was rattling off life or death precautions with an insousiance that FREAKED me out. SLOW down I heard myself say- I have an affection for my life.
Time to climb.
My friend belayed me. I went up half way and said ‘ok are you impressed yet and can I come down for a minute?’
I came down and cried for a fast minute into his chest. I said I am sorry, I have had this fear my whole life. A seven year old was doing the same into her father ‘s chest right beside us. Well, that was a little illuminating. Interestingly, she was crying out of frustration because her little body and big will could not get her to the top.
I went back and climbed to the top. I almost liked it.
(not my best side)
I did 5 climbs that night and belayed my friend while he climbed 6 or 7 times. I wanted to do more but the combination of the stress of the challenge and the physical strength required wore me out.
We got a gym membership there to return when we want more.
I can’t believe it.
I am now a social climber.