Apr 17, 2007

I Climb Now

4/17/2007 — cori

Remember Bill Murray in "What About Bob"? There's a scene where he's tied to the front of the boat and yells out, "I sail now. I'm a sailor!" You gotta love it! It's just so stupidly funny, I can't help but laugh out loud every time.

Well, as fate would have it, that exact same scene came flooding back into my memory as I began climbing up a 48 foot rock wall this past weekend. I wanted to yell out for all to hear, "I climb now. I'm a climber!"

That might not be a big deal for many people. But for me, the person who's too scared to look over a second floor balcony...it's a big deal. I'm horribly afraid of heights. So, what got into me that made me want to climb this rock wall. Well...I simply thought it sounded like fun. Plus, Gavin was going to do it and if he could do it, so could I.

As Gavin and I sat there waiting for our turn, we talked anxiously about which 'route' we wanted. There were 4 different sections on this wall you could pick. Out of sheer 'politeness' I let Gavin pick the easiest one, even though I was secretly wishing he would let his scaredy cat Mommy have it. So, I willingly took the the next hardest. Once they showed me how to put on that silly harness, I felt like Spiderman. Adrenaline was rushing thru me and I couldn't wait to 'beat' Gavin up to the top.

What was I thinking? Did I suddenly forget that I was afraid of heights? I guess I kinda forgot that little fact. I was more concerned about how I looked. I know - how vain is that? But they made me either turn my hat backwards or take it off. There was no way I was going to climb a 48 foot wall with a bunch of people watching with 'hat hair'. You just gotta draw the line somewhere. So, I decide to put my hat on backwards and opt for the 'cool dude' look (so not me!).

By the time I finished primping, Gavin has already started up the wall and my only thought was to catch up. I almost broke a nail, too. The thought that I might break a nail had never occurred to me. Neither had alot of other things such as: What in the world am I doing? I have no clue how to climb a wall? Was I thinking this was supposed to be fun? Did I forget I'm afraid of this? Is my shirt still tucked in? Does my butt look big with this silly harness wrapped around it? You know...all the important things.

Amazingly, I made good time climbing half way up when all of the sudden Gavin called out to me, "Mom, I don't think I can do it anymore." Then it happened...I looked down at him and lost all my perspective. I saw how far up I was or rather, how far down the floor was. But I was able to keep my voice from shaking too much to answer, "It's okay honey, you don't have to. Just go until you feel comfortable. There's no pressure."

Once I turned back to look where I was going, I realized I couldn't focus. My hands had apparently chosen to go limp and loose all muscle control. My mouth decided to strike in the producing saliva department and was suddenly as dry as a desert. My legs felt like jello. Uh-oh. I know those symptoms. That happens every time I get up 'too high'. I tried to focus and just grab the next thing, what ever those little things are called you're supposed to grab onto that help you climb a wall. But when I tried to wrap my fingers around it, the muscles decided not to obey my mental command. I couldn't get my fingers to bend. My nerves decided to go into 'alert' mode and vibrate until I could no longer control them.

It was at that point, 3/4 of the way up the wall, that I had to signal that I was ready for my decent. The guy down below me who's holding my rope asks, "Are you sure?" Are you kidding!? Can you not see my whole body trembling or do I just look that silly with my hat on backwards? (I'm still very self conscious about the whole backwards hat thing). "Oh ya, I'm sure!" I respond. He gently lowers me most of the way down and then leaves me dangling about 4 to 5 feet off the ground for about a minute or two. I'm just sitting there swinging, looking like a sitting duck. I'm too embarrassed to look anyone in the eye and too shaky too talk...so I just dangle. Come to find out later he did it so Chuck could have his 'Kodak moment'.

Alas, I can now place my feet on solid ground...but only for a moment. My muscles in my legs forgot to kick in and I falter backwards into the rock wall. Insult to injury. Not only can I not make it to the top, I can't even stand when I get to the bottom. And then, I look up only to see my little 8 year old miniature Spiderman make it all the way to top. I'm so proud of him! He even pressed the button. He got a sticker. I didn't. This definitely calls for a rematch! Above all else, I am competitive and can't stand to loose.

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