Friday, January 25, 2013

conquering fears.

If you follow me on Twitter and Instagram, I'm sure you've seen the photos that I've posted below. I had an awesome experience yesterday and wanted to share with you all the wonderful feeling of accomplishment that I experienced. 

This month has been one of unique learning for me. Wofford has the awesome thing called Interim, basically a January term-- there are opportunities to travel (See my trip to Australia and New Zealand last year here and here!), complete an internship, and take unique classes on campus. After traveling for two years, I decided to stay on campus and registered for a "Yoga and Rock Climbing" course, not really even thinking about the challenges I'd face ahead. 

Yesterday our class took a trip to climb an actual rock face with the help of an instructor, much different than our time in the gym. My friend Sallie and I made our way up to Crowder's Mountain, right in the area of Gastonia, NC. We were both nervous, since climbing an actual rock is MUCH different than experimenting with the routes and holds on a man made rock wall in the gym. Bundled up in layers, prepared for the cold, we hit the road and hoped for the best. 

As I watched my classmates make their way up the rock face at various paces, my stomach began to tie up in knots. I was excited to try climbing the actual rock, but not so excited for the heights. I hate rollercoasters, tall glass elevators, elevated bridges... you name it. If it's high, I'm not a fan. However, I realized that my fear of heights paled in comparison to the immense opportunity that I had before me and the exhilaration of setting and reaching a goal. So, I decided to simply go for it. 

Harnessed in with a chalk bag at my back and instructor Rob looking up from below, I began the ascent. I decided that I would just work my way up, concentrating on my breathing and the movement to hand and foot holds required to continue upward. I didn't look down unless absolutely necessary, and I didn't think about how high up I was. I could faintly hear the cheers and encouraging words of my classmates, professors, and instructor, and I loved that. We had a code word for letting climbers know they were making progress (a.k.a were really high up!) without freaking them out... we would yell up, "You're so accomplished!" So I finally made it up to the top of the rock at the point where our belay was anchored and finally got the guts to look down and truly soak in my "accomplishment"! I don't usually brag, but I am so proud of myself. 

I conquered my fear of heights (at least temporarily)
 and made it to the top of an 80 ft rock face! 

That's me in the crack! (Cue immature comments...)
Ignore the dust orb over my bootay and concentrate on how intense I look, haha!
All smiles with Sallie after conquering the rock!
(Disregard the ringless left hand...  Too athletic for diamonds yesterday!) 
It feels awesome to have not only challenged myself physically, but mentally. I am so excited and glad that I made a point to push myself this month and wouldn't trade my experience for anything. I'm not trying to get all "YOLO" on y'all, and trust me, I'm not going skydiving anytime soon (or ever, for that matter), but there's nothing wrong with disregarding your fears, at least temporarily. At some point, it would do us all a little good to release inhibitions, challenge your body and mind, and get out of our comfort zone.

What have you accomplished lately that you're proud of?! Let's do a victory dance!

-rk

2 comments:

  1. Thats so awesome! And you do look very intense conquering that rock! We have an open rock climbing wall on campus and I def want to give it a shot. As for conquering my fears,that is a work in progress.

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  2. That's sooo awesome!!! I wish we had had a term like that at VT!

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