CLIMBING UP

We were sitting on the couch last Thursday when Michael asked "When's the last time you wrote a blog post?!" I said "last Friday. I've written one for this Friday." Then he asked me if everything was okay. I nodded my head yes and then said "I just don't have anything I want to say that doesn't sound angry or too complaining." Everything is so irritating and when I am not shaking my head at the news I'm reading, I'm thinking about the next year. I have great expectations for myself in the coming year and I can't help but start planning now. I feel like buying notebooks and writing out a game plan, but part of my plan is to use my iPad more efficiently. I have an Apple pen. I should be writing out this game plan in my iPad. 

Friday, my department went rock climbing for our team building event. I had mixed feelings about climbing. There was a part of me that was very excited and gung ho. I visualized myself scrambling up the wall like a ninja and then floating gently back down with the aid of an experienced belay guy. The doubtful side of me was nervous about being strong enough to pull this body off the ground and then being too heavy for the belay guy. I was a little concerned that a scale would be involved upon sign in. I had no idea. This was my first time at an indoor rock climbing place or at any climbing place. Does that surprise you? It surprises me. It seems like rock climbing is an activity that I would have done already. I have climbed my fair share of trees over the years and I've hiked up sides of mountains. Yet, I have never rock climbed.

This place offered a room for 'bouldering', which is just climbing around on boulders unharnessed, and a room for wall climbing where you are clipped into an auto-belay. I did a little of both. I was mostly to the top of my first boulder when it hit me that there was nothing keeping me from falling to a not so soft mat about six feet below. So I continued up because once you reached the top of that boulder you could climb over to a landing and then walk down a set of stairs. The giant wall climbing was another story. I would climb up maybe six or seven feet and then stop. I'd just cling to the wall, not moving up, not going back down. I would just be stuck there. I was too scared to climb higher, but I didn't want to give up. I also did not trust the auto-belay to hold my weight. You fall a good two feet before the auto-belay kicks in and slows you down and that's falling just enough for me to say "NOPE!" I did a lot of climbing up and climbing down, which is exhausting. My armpits were sore the next day. I also had raw, almost blistered, places on the palms of my hands from gripping for dear life. I eventually did get used to the auto-belay, but I never reached the top of a wall. I scrambled up boulders like a ninja and turned out to be strong enough to pull my body up a wall. There was not ever a mention of needing me to step on a scale and I was not too heavy for the belay. The doubtful side of myself never suspected that I would end up being afraid of being so high up. 

I told Michael about my adventures when I got home that evening. He asked me if we all had to go rock climbing now. I told him no, that I was good with my current experience in indoor rock climbing. Except, I'm not so sure that is true. I just keep thinking about how I never climbed all the way up to the top of that wall. I feel like I need to go back by myself and just climb to the top, even if I just end up clinging to a spot on the wall for hours before I convince myself to continue climbing up. I feel like this has been a year of clinging to a wall. I've hesitated and doubted and just stood still in indecision on whether to move up or down. I want more climbing up in 2018. Without hesitation. Without doubt. Without fear.