From my blog archives with a few new edits, I originally wrote this on January 17th, 2017. Enjoy!
“You can’t fall if you don’t climb… But there’s no joy in living your whole life on the ground!” – Unknown
In December 2017, I joined a climbing gym, Planet Granite, & since then, climbing has quickly become one of my favorite ways to stay in shape. As someone who is still very much afraid of heights, I never thought that I’d grow to love it as much as I do now. I’m also pleasantly surprised at the way it’s slowly influencing my way of life & overall mentality. I now often find myself applying the following core values & lessons learned from climbing to my every day life.
Fear Is All In Your Head
I first approached climbing as a way to get over my fear of heights. As expected, during my first few climbs, I let my fear get the best of me. I found myself giving up halfway up the wall or three-quarters of the way up, with my legs quivering ready to be lowered back onto the ground immediately. But over time, I was slowly able to gain confidence & climb higher & attempt higher walls without hesitation. I’ve learned that fear only exists in your head, & as long as you work through your fear calmly & rationally, there is no fear you can’t overcome.
Trust Your Counterpart
It’s daunting to “literally” put your life in someone else’s hands, but in life as well as climbing, you’re not the only variable in an equation. I’ve learned that I thrive the most when I have another person’s best interest at heart. When climbing, you & your counterpart must work as a team & do whatever it takes to allow the other person to succeed. Encouragement, clear communication, constructive criticism, & care for another’s safety are all critical components to successful relationships. Without trust in your counterpart, things can go from bad to worse really quickly. Fear can cause you to become stagnant on the wall or even worse, never feel ready to leave the ground.
You Can Reach The Top
While you may not reach the top on your first try, you may even have to take several different approaches to get there, but it will happen if you want it badly enough. I never thought I’d have to think as hard as I do, while suspended in the air. I tend to focus on going at a pace I’m comfortable with, focusing on one problem at a time. The most important thing is to keep moving, no matter how slow. Like in life, the unique journey you take to reach your goals is just as important as reaching the peak of your climb. And when you get there, feel free to revel in your triumph, because you deserve it!