By: Caitlin Cheevers, Guest Blogger
In an effort to stay healthy, my boyfriend and I have joined a rock climbing gym. We recently went climbing for the first time in at least six months.
And wow, do my arms hurt.
Before making my first climb, I always get a bit nervous at the prospect of climbing 30-foot walls with just a rope keeping me from falling.
I tell myself that it’s fun and that it’s not too hard. After all, look how close together the handholds and footholds are. Right?
Then I get up there. Holy cow are they farther apart than they looked.
My boyfriend is my belay on the ground, encouraging me to make it to the top. I just have to put all of my weight on one foot, which is supported by a tiny little piece of plastic screwed to the wall. Then I have to slightly jump and grab another small piece of plastic screwed to the wall.
Nothing can go wrong, right?
Sure, I could fall. But I’ve got someone supporting me, and he will catch me if I do. It might be uncomfortable and a little scary, but at least I will have tried.
You know what would be worse?
If I didn’t try at all. If I let my fear of falling keep me on the ground, paralyzed from even trying.
There were times when I would need to simply stand against the wall, 20 feet above the ground, close my eyes, and take deep breaths for 30 seconds at a time.
Other times my arms and legs would get too tired and I would need to fall, suspended in mid-air while my boyfriend supported me.
But that’s okay. Sometimes we need to take a break and calm ourselves down before moving on. We just have to get back on the wall. We have to keep moving.
The same is true in life. Sometimes we have to jump for something, but the consequences of failing seem daunting. However, if we don’t make that leap, we won’t grow.
The important thing to remember is to keep your support system close. If I don’t keep my belay informed and let him know that I might fall, he might not be ready to catch me.
If you’ve got people supporting you while you climb, you can make it to the top. And you know what’s incredibly satisfying?
Making it to the top, despite being scared along the way.
It can be scary to take a risk, try something new, or meet a challenge, but most times the rewards beat the risks by a mile!
- Make a plan to meet a challenge, but instead of focusing on your fear, put your energy into gathering your support system, focusing on the positives, and even letting yourself HAVE FUN!
Caitlin Cheevers is the entire marketing department at an office technology dealer in her hometown of Grand Rapids, Michigan. In her free time, she writes, designs, and publishes her own blog, www.andpossiblydinosaurs.com, where she obsesses over hockey, blogging, graphic design, DIY projects, Africa, feminism, books, travel, coffee, food, and possibly dinosaurs.
Image via ambergristoday.com