16 April 2011

Lesson 2 in Overcoming Acrophobia: Push Your Limits

Today I went climbing up the canyon again. It was a glorious day. I'd been planning on it for a few days. I now check the weather religiously. Like really, religiously (especially when it looks nice outside and there are freshmen playing frisbee in the huge field right out my window at work and I'm so sad that I'm stuck inside during the day but soon it will be over because I'll get to leave earlier once I'm graduated...this week). So I knew that today was going to be beautiful. And it was. Thank goodness. That would have been a huge disappointment.

After an extremely successful morning in the library, I came home and we set off for the canyon. I let my friend choose where we go (he knows better than I do). So he chose this rock face that was super hard. I tried to go up the way that it was intended, but I ended up cheating it and going up the easy way. It did, however, require that I shove my body up a huge crack and shimmy up the rest of the way. When I went up there I made the mistake of looking out to the trail. That was not smart. I couldn't see the ground and I started getting really nervous. I tried to calm myself down and get a grip, but I got another wave of acrophobia and ended up burying my head in the crack so I could calm down. It was then that I gave up and was lowered to the ground--a mere fifteen feet from the top of the climb.

I then belayed for him as he went up again, content to have both feet firmly planted on the ground, and in the sun.  Unfortunately, he had forgot some necessary gear to get the rope off of his carabiners at the top of the line. Whoops. So he came back down and told me that I needed to go back up and get the carabiners.

I was not a happy Laura. All I wanted to do was stay on the ground and not freak out again. But somehow he convinced me to try again. So up I went. And I got up just fine. It took me a while to figure out how to shove my body up the crack so that I could use my back to leverage me up instead of my knees.

But I did it. I got up.

While this may not sound all that impressive (and really, it wasn't by any standard), I still looked my fear in the face and told it to go bother someone else. It was a good feeling to get those carabiners off the anchors and me back on the ground. And I was a much happier Laura.

Sometimes you just need to tell your fears to take a hike and see what you can really do. Thank you rock face for helping me conquer my acrophobia just a little bit more. Until we meet again.

1 comment:

  1. So proud of you. Sounds like PA's mother?