“I can’t do it. This is dumb.” I started to let go. The rope pulled tighter, cinching my harness against me.
“No you can. Just commit.” The guy below me was a co-worker, someone I had never climbed with before. He was annoying with his calm, assured voice. This climb was a 5.10, something I knew I couldn’t really do, even indoors.
“No, I really can’t.” But my fingers didn’t leave go quite yet. My arm shook, my calf shook harder.
“Just do it. I’ve got you.”
I’d spent most of my life climbing, and I’ve never fallen. Oh, I’ve given up, but I’ve never taken a teeth rattling, rope jerking, equipment testing fall. That is a problem. A big problem. It means that every moment where I clung, trembling to a wall, I’d given up.
That time, I did jump, and gasping for air, my fingers closed around the neon yellow rock and my feet found a new place to rest. The rope went up, and somehow, I stood through the crux and the top close at hand.
It got me thinking. Am I so scared of failure that I give up in life as well?
That was three years ago, and I’m trying to be more committed. I fell climbing the other day; I didn’t put my foot down on my uphill both ways eight mile bike ride two days ago. My craptastic book is out on a small scale submission. One agent requested a full manuscript so far, so that’s cause for celebration. I’m trying to remember being on that wall - that it’s not whether or not I actually succeed, but that I truly, honestly committed to it.
Also, school boards and parents should remember stuff like this. Sports are pretty handy in teaching/exposing issues in life.