Good morning and happy Monday my geeks! I hope your weekend was full of great adventures, I know mine was. I did something this weekend that I thought I’d never do, and never have the courage to do. I went rock climbing! Which is what inspired this week’s quote, never say never.
I say that I never thought I’d ever go rock climbing for a couple of reasons. Firstly, I’ve always had a fear of heights. Not a true uncontrollable phobia, but a reasonable fear of them. I mean, who in their right mind fancies a fall from any height? But I’ve also always had an issue with bridges and especially those over large bodies of water.
So when my friends invited Zach and I to go rock climbing I thought it was going to be in a cushy indoor gym with padded floors and the like. Turns out it’s an outdoor tower of walls surrounded by gravel. For whatever reason this freaked me out a little. Maybe it was knowing that we were outside in the elements, and that it looked like rain and there were already a bunch of people there causing me to be mostly afraid of making a fool out of myself. Anyways, I sat and watched while my friends and Zach went first, and suddenly I felt very competitive about it.
I’ve always had a slightly competitive nature about me, which is why I generally keep myself away from a lot of competitive games and sports. I always get too into it and end up taking things too serious. But this time, I realized that I could use this to help me conquer my own fears. So I got it into my head that however high Zach got, I would go at least a little bit higher. I used him as my target simply because our other two friends were not only much stronger than both of us but had also been climbing for a while, and we were noobs. Thus I felt it only fair to myself to use Zach as a gage for my success.
The first wall was honestly not a beginner’s wall, but we both wanted to try it just to see how far we could go. I was shocked at how determined I had become, and only because I wanted to get higher than Zach, and possibly even as high as our friends had gone (which was to the top of the wall, so I know I had set semi-unrealistic standards for myself). I had to give up around halfway through, simply because the wall itself was too difficult – but I had pushed myself to go a little bit higher than Zach had gotten.
The next wall was easier in theory, as it went straight up as opposed to angling outwards in spots like the first wall had done. But harder in reality because I had already tired myself out on the first wall. So I used it to get a better feel of how to climb, promising that I’d do better on the next one.
At the very end we went to the beginner’s wall, which was a steady slope upwards the entire time with a good amount of rocks to grab onto. I know – we did everything kind of backwards – but at this point I had got it into my head that I was going to reach the top of one wall before we left, and this was going to have to be it because it was looking very close to raining on us. I was not going to let this last one beat me, I was not going to allow myself to be beat by the beginner’s wall.
The first two thirds was easy, large rocks close together made the incline fast and steady. But then suddenly the rocks were spaced out a little too far, and I couldn’t just reach for the next one regardless of both my arms and legs being long. I had tried merely pushing myself up using the rock I was already gripping, but at this point I simply didn’t have the strength. Oh but I was so close. So very close. Just a few more after that and I would have made it to the top. But I was so tired. My hands and arms were aching, my palms raw from the rough rocks. I was out of breath from pushing myself to this point and from struggling to get up to the next rock. And for the first time I actually looked down and realized just how far I had come…and I realized something. As I looked down at my friends and at Zach, as I looked at my friend who was belaying me, I realized that I wasn’t afraid. I knew that if I fell I would be caught, there was no real risk to pushing myself this last stretch (aside from breaking my nails, which I had already done, to my annoyance). I don’t know where it had been before, but suddenly I found this new determination inside of me. I knew I was tired, I knew I was unbelievably sore, but with a grunt I managed to push myself up to the next rock. Then the next, and the next, and the next until I finally reached the top.
Never, EVER say that you’d never be able to do something. Don’t let yourself be defeated. Deep down inside, you have the strength to conquer anything if you just believe in yourself, and if you make the decision to not let yourself be defeated. Am I stupidly sore and painful because I pushed myself too hard? Yes. My shoulders ache and it’s hard just to pull up my pants sometimes. I can’t wait for my arms to stop hurting, and to be able to open a jar without struggling. But I am proud of myself for pushing onward. I’m proud that I didn’t let myself be defeated.
AND DON’T FORGET!!! – my 300 Follower Giveaway ends on Wednesday, March 1st! That means you’ve only got 1 WEEK left to enter! Remember that to enter you MUST leave a comment on the post, and don’t forget to like the post to get that second entry!