All of Wednesday had me thinking about overcoming a fear that I never would have chosen to overcome. When we’re faced with fear without choosing, and we stand up and push through it, we grow. It’s even better when we choose to face something we’re afraid of, or even when we try something we never knew we’d be afraid of.
A little voice inside my head today told me that I would be fine; that I wouldn’t get nervous, and that I would be able to perform just like I envisioned I would.
As much as I tried to fight the feelings of apprehension, they were still there, but I pushed through, and by the time the night had ended, I was scaling the very same wall I started on twice as fast as the first time.
I never considered indoor rock climbing to be something I would ever be interested in doing, but tonight, I learned how to do so at the suggestion of my closest friend from my high school days. After 9 years we reconnected as a direct result of Facebook (for those of you who find no value in it…think again) and spent the entire night catching up and climbing in the gym.
Belay (be-lay [bi-lay]) -verb: 1. To secure a person by attaching to one end of a rope. 2. To keep your friend from falling to their death.
I learned both how to climb, and how to belay, which also means to stop. One person climbs, one person stands anchored to the floor, and anchored to the rope that keeps your partner from falling. While one climbs, the other takes up the slack and secures the rope after the climber’s forward progress. It’s all about teamwork, and it’s great exercise. The coolest part about it is that once you learn to trust the harness and your partner, it doesn’t matter how high the wall is.
There’s something about an activity that requires the work of two people and that involves putting your complete trust in that person to ensure you are secured. I can’t quite describe it. Perhaps the right word is Synergy. There’s also something to be said for life-long friends who can pick up right where you left off.
So here’s to rock climbing, friends, fitness, and overcoming silly fears.