I paid my money, signed my waiver and lined up for my helmet fitting. As the instructor fastened me into my harness, I had a little panic: “Oh my God, what have I signed up for?!”
He strapped me in really tight. I could feel a camel toe situation occurring but I didn’t want to be seen fiddling around ‘down there’ to sort it out so I pushed it to the back of my mind and followed him down the steps to the bottom of the climbing wall.
As he triple knotted my rope and fastened my harness to his one so he could take the weight of my body if I slipped he said “go for it” and I started to climb.
I looked up at the high, 47ft wall then back down at the little grips sticking out that I was to use my make my ascent and I climbed. Some of the bits were too small to get a good hold onto and some were spaced far apart. Even though the instructor had my rope so I would be (hopefully) caught if I fell, the actual climb part was still up to me. No assistance on the hauling my ass up the wall part!
The session was only 25 minutes long so I banished all negative thoughts from my mind and decided to give it my all – it would be over soon. I got up the first wall and reached the top! I did slip down a few times where I lost my footing but on the third attempt I made it! The instructor lowered me down, as I walked my feet down the rock surface like Spiderman. Then I was hooked up to a mechanical powered harness and I scaled my second wall. This wall was a harder run.
I did manage to get to the top again – I’m not the fastest climber but I got there in the end. Then, from the top of the run I removed my hands from the grips and trusted that the harness would catch me as I fell back. I did have a little wobble of self preservation before I took my hands away but I put my faith in God and let go. I ascended the wall like a pro (well, I thought so anyway!) I loved bouncing my feet down the surface as I reached the bottom and then the instructor wanted me to go again.
By this time I’d had enough. I had shown myself that I could do it, I’d faced my fears and I’d pushed out of my comfort zone to try something new. That’s enough personal development for today I thought! So I tried to distract the instructor and use up more session time by asking a few questions. He answered but then told me to get up wall 3! It was the last run of the day so I did it. I got halfway up but my heart wasn’t in it by then, and I just wanted to get back to my car!
Why had I done this? Why rock climbing? It was something I’d never done before and I wanted to see what it was like, simple as that! Would I do it again, probably not. I didn’t like how my fingers and arms ached afterwards and how I felt like I was ruining my manicure to take part!
However I’m glad I did it as it’s like a tick off life’s list of ‘things’. I have been rock climbing! I am now a little curious however as to what abseiling is like? I enjoyed the gliding down the mountain part – just not the climbing up!
Have you ever expanded your comfort zone? What did you do? Let me know in the comments!