Sunday, July 22, 2012

On the Cliffs of Insanity

Okay, today I want to talk a little bit about some recent experiences I've had with rock climbing. So about a week ago I went with my brother and sister and a couple of their friends up Provo canyon. Let me just preface this by saying that I'm a terrible rock climber, but my brother and sister both do this all the time. They have their own equipment and everything.

So we get up their and I get started up the rock and right away the adrenaline is flooding my system, and not in a good way. I'm terrified. Worse, this is the first time for the girl who's belaying me, and I do NOT trust her. So I grip the rock as hard as I can with sweaty fingers and tennis shows with no grip. I'm slipping quite a bit, I can't go up or down, and extremely frustrated, stuck and tired on a vertical cliff face, and I start yelling at my brother for not letting me borrow his climbing shoes. Needless to say, it was a rather humiliating experience for all involved.

So I get down, and I don't want to try again, but they persuade me to do so. I go barefoot this time, even though everyone is telling me how painful barefoot is. And you know what? It's so much easier than with shoes. Despite what people said, my feet are already hardened because I rarely wear shoes around the house. Their are challenging (for me) ledges, and once I had to rely on the rope to keep me up. But this time it was my youngest sister belaying me, and although she has to way half of what I do, I trust her. I make it to the top, and feel awesome.

To end that trip, I belay for my sister. I'm also horrible at this, so I get people trying to tell me how to do it right, and this makes me convinced that I'm going to drop my sister, so I try doing everything with my own strength alone. Completely exhausting, but I'm terrified I'm going to kill her.

Fastforward to yesterday, when we took another trip up the canyon. I wasn't sure I wanted to come, but I did it anyways. We had to repel down... the first few seconds of repelling, where you have to put your faith into that skinny little rope, is nerve wracking. But I do it.

I rock climb barefoot again, and when it's my turn to belay, I take a couple extra minutes to get some coaching and learn how to do it right. this makes a world of difference, and I'm soon belaying two different friends with confidence.

A buddy of mine wanted to bring his dog in. The dog was not happy about this and fought and was nervous the whole time. We had to lower her (the dog) on a rope, and bring her back out on a rope. He had to hold her and we basically had to hoist them out. We all told him it was a bad idea, but he wouldn't listen.

So we repelled out of the spot--this time it was a little easier, though still the first leap made me nervous-- and then we hiked out. Much better experience than the first time.

What do we get out of this? I love the scripture that says you can liken everything to the gospel. For me, exercises like this always bring different principles of life to mind.

First, what you do affects the lives of everyone around you. Sometimes you freak out and things get messy. that's just being human, that's okay. But getting a little extra help in the beginning can keep that from happening.

Trust is essential.

Trying to do everything by yourself can get you into allot of trouble.

Sometimes doing what everyone tells you is painful is still better than the easier way.

Sometimes people do stupid things even when everyone tells them not to. Allow others to make mistakes and try to help them so that those mistakes are not harmful.

Allow others to rely on you, and rely on other people. We are all in this together. True story.

Sometimes, that first leap of faith is terrifying. But if you don't do it, you'll regret it.

Actually, whatever I write, I feel like you guys will be able to find what you need. I don't like spelling things out. Just look at your experiences and think what they teach you about life. Also, hope everything goes well for you.

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