So, my fiancé teaches climbing. Last fall, he schooled me in the ways of the wall.
Let’s get one thing straight: I am a selectively adventurous woman. I’ll go trekking in the Himalayas, but I won’t strap on a pair of downhill skis to save my life. I’ll start my own business in the midst of a recession, but I get shy about cliff-jumping. And until last October, I was mildly petrified of the whole climbing thing.
When I was a wee 11 year-old, my class went on a field trip to a local outdoor education center. Being the middle school fashionista that I was, I wore highly inappropriate footwear for our climbing wall lesson: a pair of black leather ankle-high dress boots.
Turns out, I flopped around that indoor rock wall like a guppy. Seriously, I was a hot mess in a harness. Of course, knowing nothing about climbing, and having next to no guidance from the so-called “instructors,” I wrote it off as a failure.
These days, I’m wiser. It was just a mix of bad shoes and bad instruction.
But that memory formed a massive psychological hurdle for me as I started my climbing adventures. I wasn’t worried about having bad technique; I was worried about totally freezing up. And being completely neglected because of my inability.
I needed two things: a good teacher, and good equipment.
Guess what? I got both. And it’s made all the difference.
I still get stuck. I still struggle. I still flounder. But I get to the top, by some route. Even if it doesn’t look too pretty. Even if I stop to rest every few feet.
I get there, eventually.