I rocked it hard.

Since we're all five year olds and I've learned that a good TWSS double entendre will get you everywhere, you're welcome.

This post however, is about rock climbing…sort of. Thought it was something else? Yeah, I figured…but stick around. Something cool happened!

A few months ago I started rock climbing. I've only been a few times, but I love it. It's a great workout and all that jazz, but there is something so much more to that wall. It's what I think everyone is talking about with Yoga, but Yoga just makes me feel crazy for trying to be a tree or a downward facing bitch or something. Rock climbing is just kind of…bad ass. I'm constantly amazed by the walls my friends lady handle (oh yeah, it's a new phrase I'll be using a lot – Thanks Laura!) and the routes the crazy dudes climb in that gym. What is NOT awesome is my debilitating fear of heights. While I do enjoy the gift of exaggeration, I'm not even slightly exaggerating about this little gem of me. A couple of the routes I climbed left Shine down on the ground watching as my legs trembled uncontrollably and I almost burst out into tears. In a weird way it had nothing to do with falling or even heights. It had to do with control or more importantly…letting go of control.

I hide behind fear to keep control. Ouch, that hurt. The first time I got to the top of the wall, I wouldn't let go. It was explained to me about 1800 times that I could only fall the same distance as the amount of slack in the rope. With my non-stop yelling to take the slack out of the rope, that meant about 2 feet at most. I didn't care. I physically could not let go of that wall. On the wall, I was safe. On the wall, I had control. I'm sure you see the problem though, right? I was still on a wall, THIRTY feet in the air. I was more afraid of what happened when I let go than I was if I stayed right where I was. I was more content to keep fighting to hold on and to tire out my body than I was to sit back and trust that the rope and my friend would keep me from a free fall. I said I couldn't let go. Actually I kind of yelled that Shine was insane if she thought I was GOING to let go. Fortunately, I did finally shut up and I let go. You know what? I was fine. More than fine. I got back down to the ground and I was in one piece. I'd climbed the wall, I'd let go of the wall, and I was still standing on my own two feet. I also knew that wall changed me.

FYI…yelling, almost crying, and BARELY letting go of the wall is NOT my idea of rocking anything. I'm getting there. Rock climbing did something for me that NOTHING physical has done since I quit skating. Skating made me let go. Every time I touched the ice, I was a different person. You could see it transform me. And I KNOW that's why I was damn good at it. I sincerely believe that our physical being tells us what our emotional self just can't or won't say out loud. No, I'm not a hippie. Just listen. We spend our lives building a protective shell around us. At least I have. Every time I went through something difficult, I just threw on another layer. What I didn't realize is how much that shell started to change who I am. I am an extremely positive person. I believe the absolute best in people all the time. I'm also let down a lot. But instead of realizing that failure was about THEM and not ME, I took it as something I needed to change. Become tougher, harder, bitter.

I was wrong. That's not me. I'm the one who throws up a hail mary pass 50 times just for the few that make it worth it. Like Brett Favre, without "retirement". So yesterday, I decided to get a little of me back. Before I got on the wall, I just decided to stop being afraid. Fear wasn't helping me. Bobism (aka: my dad's advice) #489 – Just get over it. And guess what? I did. I climbed routes I've never climbed. I didn't pause. I didn't get scared. I pushed through when I thought my body couldn't do it and I rocked it…HARD. It was incredible.

This is a snippet from Jason Vallotton's, Fear is a Prison… "Fear is a prison; it's no one's friend. Even powerful people deal with fear. But for them, fear is an enemy." Take this with you today and whatever you're afraid of, LET IT GO. What's on the other side is completely worth it and what you let go of won't be any less a part of you than it was before. It got you to the top of the wall didn't it?


Laura said...

YOU, friend, are awesome. I love that I actually got to witness the rocking of the wall. I know how big of a step that was, and as a fellow acrophobic let me just say... I am so proud!

Mike Alonzo said...

Great Job Smiles! Keep Climbing!

Anonymous said...

Two feet, my ass. Two INCHES more like.

You did indeed rock it hard last night. And I'm so proud of you.

But if you think this means you're getting me on a ski slope so I can just "get over it," you're fooling yourself. Ain't happenin'. I'm happy to just exist with my fear of "go fast."

Christie said...

Wow!!! Coming from someone who is seriously afraid of heights, I am very proud of you. That takes a lot!!
Talk about a "coming to Jesus" moment ;)

carissajaded said...

Such a great post!!! I have always wanted to try out rock climbing.. but like you, I'm pretty afraid of heights!! I think spin class is kind of my rock climbing though. I used to dance, but other than that I'd never been too athletic. I have always been terrified of doing anything too "cardiovascular." I've never been a runner, or a biker. But finding out you can do something that you have always been afraid of is always such a good feeling!!
This post made me want to be braver!!

Gofahne said...

Thank you Laura! It was so nice to have someone there that understood how it felt. Both to fear the heights...and then to get over it. I would LOVE to bottle that feeling!

You know I will Mike!

Shine, It's at least half an arm length yo. And I mentioned I have a knack for exaggeration didn't I? I swear having your little cheers at the bottom makes it all better. If I ever get you on the ski slope, I promise to be just as understanding and supportive as you were (take that as you will). OH...and you do not go fast on bunny slopes. You'd just rather die than ever have to work that hard again.

Christie, It was the STRANGEST feeling. To be so afraid of something and then to just NOT be afraid. Maybe it just took some time, but getting in your head works!

Carissa, just for the record I think spinning is WAY harder than rock climbing. But I'm glad you have something that can allow you to break free a bit. Physical activity is not really high on my list of fun, but I do love the feeling of accomplishment and a place to let it all just drop off. Your post the other day is one of the bravest things I've ever read...so I can't WAIT to hear what you do if this made you want to be BRAVER!

Thanks for dropping by my corner everyone!

Narm said...

I've been wanting to try rock climbing FOREVER but haven't found the right opportunity. Maybe this is the kick in the ass to go try.

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