Wow. This is great. I went to a women’s challenge day this past weekend. It was billed as an empowerment day. I was skeptical. I guess all these years of going to awareness workshops , reading, talking, and yes therapy have provided me with a keen sense about myself.
That sense of myself does not relieve me from succumbing to my fears or insecurities it just provides me with an awareness that any particular moment I am acting crazy. 🙂
Any way, the day began with the instructors being introduced. What did I do? I sat there and beat myself up for not having organized such events. Blah, blah, blah.
We moved into the mornings challenges which were based upon team efforts. They were fun and in the end not terribly threatening. Hmmm.
After lunch we began our personal challenges. Climb a rock wall, something called the bridge walk (walking across a cable sooooooooo many feet above the ground, and a trust walk. I didn’t get to do the trust walk, I ran out of time.
I began with the rock wall. Years ago, I had done the rock wall more than once because my kids were doing it. And, because for most of that time I was in shape reaching the top was not a problem. I volunteered to go first. I climbed up the first half then on to a ledge to begin the second half of the climb. I got a bit caught up in the first few foot steps, I am not sure what they are called, but there I was holding on to the wall trying to figure out what to do next. The instructor yelled “don’t stay still too long, just keep moving.” I wanted to but couldn’t figure out where to go next. I placed my foot on this thing that was angled so I could only be there a second and had to move on. Yes, did that. People below cheered. I was shaking now. Moved up again and then lost my hold and flew backward. I caught the wall again but my fear conquered my will to keep going. The instructor yelled “do you want to come down?” “Yes, yes. yes.” I cried out. “OK , put your feet flat on the wall and lower yourself down.’
It was not a very graceful descent but I got to the ground. Cheers and congrats were forth coming. But I was disappointed in myself. No, don’t focus on the accomplishment. Focus on the failure. What failure…. I stayed on at that event and helped with the security rope and cheering others on. Two made it to the top in my group, impressive, most didn’t make it half way, but they all tried.
I next went to the bridge cable walk. I stayed working the ropes at this event for a while getting a sense of it and watching other women conquer their fears. Then I decided to go. Before me were two women who I had moved worked with in the morning. One started to cry as she was getting her security rope attached. The trainer said “do you want to do this?” “yes,” the young woman answered. “GOod. You look at me” the trainer said “before you go up the ladder, then listen to my voice when you are walking on the cable. If you want to come down just let us know.” I was this woman’s ladder spotter. Up she went, tears and all and across the cable.
Next woman began her preparation with fear and saying “I failed at this 20 years ago.” I said “today is a new day. Doesn’t matter what you did 20 years ago!” I am such a big shot sometimes, especially when it doesn’t concern me. Then my turn. I decided once I started climbing up the ladder, up the pole on the stakes there was no turning back.”Don’t look down, just keep going.” I told myself. Up the ladder, “transition one” I yelled, Up the pole, “transition 2” then up on the log to step on to the cable. The wind was very strong. I looked around a bit, not down but I was scared. I needed to keep moving. No looking down. But an occasional “WOOW!” escaped my mouth to let out some anxiety and to let the world know I was all the way up there. Across the cable. No thinking just doing. And I did it.
Releasing my self, “fall backwards hold the rope and we will lower you down” Not as easy as it sounds. Trust, trust trust. That was the crucial issue. Trust myself to do it , trust the women on the ground holding the safety rope that they will not let me crash to the ground. I am here to testify they did their jobs well and so did I. I was soooo high after that. I no longer cared that I did not make it up to the top of the wall. I had climbed the pole and walked across the cable. What a glorious feeling that sense of power. I hope to remember it when my fears tell me otherwise.