A Little About Why I Climb

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Climbing outside makes me extremely apprehensive.

I am afraid of heights. Not in the way where I get vertigo or can’t go to the edge of something and look down-if supported I have no problem with that at all. Rationally I understand that the harness and rope are as safe as we can make them and the gear we attach to is the same. I am also aware that things go wrong. Part of my brain is constantly reminding me that a bolt could blow, a rock could fall on me, something could go wrong and I could die. I do not find this feeling exhilarating or liberating.

I really just find it terrifying.

Much of the time I spend on real rock, especially if lead-climbing, there is a part of me that is out of my mind with terror. If you could play the soundtrack in my head you would have one voice that is shrieking mindlessly and another calmer voice talking me through it.

Breathe. Hand up. Foot up. Shift your weight. Reach. Breathe. It’s ok. You’re safe. Trust your feet. Nice. Take it easy. Relax your grip. Breathe.

Clipping myself to a steel bolt on the side of a cliff hundreds of feet in the air with a couple carabiners and a bit of rope does not exactly make me feel safe. And yet despite my fear I continue to do it. If you ask me why my first answer is probably not going to be anything about ‘fun’.

Climbing is amazing.

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The view from the top of “Emergency Rainbow Generator” 5.7 – Quadra Island

The reason I climb isn’t because I always find it fun. I climb because the awe I feel when I am standing at the top of a climb on Quadra island and seeing a massive stretch of Vancouver Island and all of its largest park. Or looking out across Howe Sound and the Tantalus range as the sun goes down. Or standing at the foot of The Chief in squamish and staring straight up at 9 pitches and 1000 feet of the most beautiful granite I’ve ever seen.

These moments are what keep driving me outside.

Standing in awe of nature, and in awe of the human spirit that inspires us to scale a sheer cliff face with fingers and toes and constantly push the limits of what is possible.

It’s pretty awesome.

And before I forget: Today I am choosing to be thankful for my friends, who want to do all the things I do and then some. They encourage and push me and help me do better.

-Not Lost Girl

What leaves you in awe? When was the last time you felt that way? Let me know in the comments!

(Today’s Post inspired by The Daily Prompt: Awe )

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