Taking That Leap
Since this site and blog is talking about following your passion. It may mean that you may have to conquer some of your fears and personal anxieties at some point and what I want to share is one of the stories where I did that.
So being afraid of heights, the thought of a rope and a knot is the difference between me and a 50-foot drop is frightening to say the least. Yet for some reason I let my fears go and let the instructor tie my harness. Body shaking, shortness of breath, and anxiety kicked in moments after she told me that I was ready to climb.
Here I am, this medium-built, six-foot tall, 200-pound guy about to climb this wall and I have a little petite freshman half my size harnessed to the ground to prevent my imminent doom. Still I decided that if I didn’t face my fear of heights that day, I would find another excuse later down the road and never do this. Despite her size, I still pressed on.
As I placed my hand on the first feature on the wall, I started to see the trajectory I needed to get to the top and I was intently focused on following it. Not taking a second to look down I would just feel where my feet and its placement would go and just keep my eyes on going up. I felt as though if I stopped or focused at the bottom, my adrenaline would drop and my eminent fear of heights would kick back in.
So I just kept going higher and higher.
Finally, as I reached the top I realized that I have finally conquered my fears and rock climbed. But as I realize that I know that, thanks to gravity, what goes up must come down. Which means I would eventually have to take my grip away from the wall and trust my life on this rope and this girl who I don’t think can support my weight.
As she gives me the okay to let go, with all of her hands on the rope and feet grounded to slowly let me go, I catch a glimpse of just how far I have climbed.
It was a feeling of accomplishment and terror all at once.
My arms were tiring from the climb. My adrenaline was beginning to drop and the anxiety was beginning to set. At that moment of exhaustion and anxiety, I decided that I needed to take another leap and just trust the rope and this little lady.
So I let go.
But as I let go and hung on the rope, she gently started lowering me down the wall. As my fear passed and touched the land that I wish I hadn’t left, I realized what I had accomplished.
Now even after that moment I still have a slight fear of heights. The stairs still scare me a little. But when I am faced with an obstacle where I am afraid to do something, I think about this moment and how I felt. I have conquered my fears, this feeling, before and I can do whatever I put my mind to. (I still rock climb with some friends when we get the chance and urge.)
So with that said:
Where do you find your strength to overcome your fears?
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