October 24, 2008

conquering fears

oday, after work, Chris and I met up at Life Time Fitness. We had planned on going to the pilates class but as I passed the gym, w/ the rock wallsssssss, I had a very spontaneous thought to try rock climbing instead of balance and "core" target . . . whatever...

So, since it's our first time, we have to go through this mini intro on how to properly "hook" up. Everything seems simple enough and I'm thrilled and super excited! Why? Because Rock Climbing looks like SO MUCH FUN!!! . . . *confused face*

Well, to make this short:

my first attempt -I climb up about 3 ft or so (distance from my feet to the ground) and I start wondering why in the world I thought to do this. Mentally I had to start blocking out the fact that I'm afraid of heights!!! I don't know how rock climbing and my fear of heights never seemed to have crossed paths before I opened my mouth tonight!!! I convince myself to climb up a bit higher and higher and higher . . . then I realize that there is this huge gap and I'm not too sure how to get past it. Chris kept telling me that I could do it and my mind kept telling me that I'm WAY too high off the ground -to start going back down . . . a HUGE lump in my throat forms and I could have started to cry!!! :( then I realize that I didn't even practice repelling off of this wall!! LOL So, now I'm about 8 ft from the ground and I start climbing back down instead of trusting the 'auto belay pully thing' that I'm hooked up to . . . :(

2nd attempt- I look at where I stopped the first time and all I'm thinking is "I've got to go past that rock!" So, I start . . . and again, realize that I still didn't practice a repel -closer down to the ground. So, again, I start climbing down until my foot just couldn't reach the next 'rock' --I HAVE to let go, luckily I'm not far from the ground at all. After my first repel, I realize that it doesn't go too fast and that it's actually kind of fun. . . .ha!

3rd attempt- I climb up about 4 ft from the ground, maybe 5 ft, and try to convince myself to "let go" to practice another repel -from a little bit higher point from the last-. I figured that I needed to work my way up slowly, baby steps, to be able to repel from the top --for when I actually reach the top. I thought that my fear of climbing higher might have been from the fear of falling or not being able to climb my way back down. So at this point I figure that I would climb a little higher and then repel and then climb a little bit higher and then repel

I don't remember how many times I did that . . .

Then I just go for it. I start climbing and climbing and climbing --jumping past the climb and repel part of my plan-- now, I'm higher than I had climbed all night. I could count the rocks from the top. I needed something like 7 rocks or so (that my hands actually needed to hang on to before reaching the top) -I had already climbed about 3/4 of the entire wall . . . but after all those practice repels that I did, I could barely hold on to the rocks!! :( I panic . . . . I'm higher than I had been all night and I hadn't repelled from that height. Something in me just couldn't "let go"! It's NUTS!! Absolutely NUTS!! I know that the rope will catch me and I know that I was seeing others do it so easily but something in my head was saying "DO NOT LET GO!!" my breathing got rapid and heavy, my hands all sweaty and slippery, my arms totally shaky and then . . . I choked up and started to cry --upset that I couldn't get myself to just keep going, frustrated that I couldn't just let go and repel back down . . . I soooooo wanted to make it to the top and after an hour or climbing and repelling and watching others, etc., WHY COULDN'T I JUST DO IT?!?! :( At that point, there was no where else to go . . . I was at the highest point of my night, a had a huge gap to figure out how to climb around, I was just hanging on for dear life, basically! :( I'm shaking my head, saying, in my head, "just let go" -but then when I start sitting back into the rope, I panic and can't let go. I was also shaking my head because I would say, " I can do this, I know I can; just keep going . . . one more . . . just one more Michelle...." and then I was just frozen -saying NO! . . . so finally, I figure, I can't climb down because I just pushed off and passed a gap -there's no way my little leg will reach that rock I just left. I look at the wall right in front of my nose and count "1 . . . 2 . . . 3 . . . " and still can't repel!! lol I'm crying, shaking, sweating, and so emotionally frustrated w/ my stupid fear of heights . . . I held on longer until my muscles in my arms basically froze up --locked up, stiffened, etc. --and it HURT!!! I HAD to let go. So, I pushed off one big push, held my breath and scrunched my shoulders . . . squeaking/yelping (quietly of course) until my feet touched the ground. I looked up and realized how high I had climbed . . . I wasn't happy that I couldn't get myself to go to the very top --but I saw the rock I first stopped at and then I look up at the rock I last reached . . . . I accomplished so much tonight in that hour!!! :D

I can't wait to go back again and try to climb to the top . . . hopefully I won't have to work my way up on repelling again ;) hee hee

so, my upper body is sooooooo sore and all my muscles on my arms, hands, and even fingers (LOL) are stiff and barely work! --I even have some blisters that I could do w/ out.

I will make it to the top of that wall . . . someday . . . hopefully soon.

*after an hour of that, we went and worked out on the stair machine . . . . I SOOOOO could use a massage tonight!! ha ha ;)

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