As I get older, I’m starting to understand just how important it is to push yourself out of your comfort zone. However, it also gets harder and harder to make that push! My Mom and I try to get together once a year on a trip. The past two or three years we haven’t been able to because she retired and didn’t have it in the budget. This year though we went on a cruise to Alaska and had a great time.
Prior to the cruise date we bought a couple of excursions. She let me pick them out because she wanted me to do things I would be interested in. I just don’t think she thought I’d be interested in extreme sports! Ok, so maybe it’s not extreme, but it is extreme enough for both her and me. In Skagway, our last port in Alaska, we had a rock climbing, rappelling, and zip lining excursion planned. Mom had been talking herself out of it from the time we bought the tickets, but I kept telling her she was going to at least try it. I wasn’t going to take no for an answer!
As the time for our adventure got closer I started getting more and more nervous. Our driver picked us (and 6 other people) up at the dock and shuttled us to what looked like the middle of nowhere!
Our guide, Mel, was such a small girl and I remember thinking “you’re going to keep me falling? I’d squash you!” but they assured us it has nothing to do with the size of the person holding the rope but the technique used. Since we were beginners (me, mom, and Pam from North Dakota) we went to the shorter part of the wall (50 feet). I’m not exactly sure what I was expecting, but I thought the beginners would have an easier wall to climb, not just a shorter one! This wall was flat and very intimidating!
Pam went first, and it looked very difficult but she made it to the top so I decided I could do it too. Once Mel knotted me in the rope my stomach was churning. I got about a foot off the ground and was stuck. I couldn’t see anywhere to put my feet or hands next. I kept telling her I was stuck and couldn’t go anywhere. Mel pointed out what she said were foot holds, but to me they looked like pebbles sticking out from the wall. Supposedly a jut the size of your thumbnail will hold you….haha…right. I wasn’t that confident! So, down I came and we moved over a little bit where it looked like there may have been more options. Once I started on that side and remembered to keep my body close to the wall everything went much better. If you stick your butt out…it becomes the center of gravity and you will fall! It took me a while but I did it! I made it all the way to the top and touched the chains!
Coming down was just as scary, maybe even more so because you’re having to trust completely in the person holding the other end of the rope. But, once my feet touched the ground, I was so excited to have done it! It was one of the best feelings I’ve had in a while.
Once Mom was able to push her fear aside she finished as well. I was so proud of us both! Now, would I do it again? I’m not sure…it was scary as hell but it may not be as scary the second time around. The zip lining was a blast! I will definitely be doing that again when I get a chance!