Yesterday, I went to a rock wall climbing birthday party for my friend Felice in NJ, and it was everybody’s first time, but I kind of got the impression I was the only one with a fear of heights. Like me and rock wall climbing is kind of a joke and it doesn’t even sound real when I say it aloud, which is probably why I agreed to go and I didn’t stretch (the latter being a big mistake).
Like just that morning, I was making eggs for breakfast but I couldn’t bring myself to crack the egg b/c I had convinced myself it felt more solid than usual and that I would somehow crack open a baby chick inside. I don’t know how or why I thought that, but as soon as I get freaked, that’s it, I stay freaked, and had to have my husband crack open the egg (which turned out fine). So the egg story is just to illustrate how I’m not really someone who should be on a wall.
The first time I went, I got up two feet off the ground and looked down, and just froze, while a wiry pregnant woman scrabbled up twenty feet to the top easily to my right, and an eight-year-old did the same on my left. No biggie. I’m shown up by pregnant people and children in athletic activities all the time. Eventually, I talked myself into going again and went up to the top three times (peer pressure). Apparently, some of the trick is that your body, including hips have to be as close to the wall as possible. I mean you’re kind of like a squashed bug on a windshield holding on for dear life. Like your knees and elbows are at 90 degree angles and every part of your body, including your face, is smooshed against the surface.
There are these plastic rocks off the wall that actually have handles, which is very helpful, and other rocks that really only seem to be nubs. I mean, they’re like so small, they’re like a period or maybe a semi-colon at best, and you’re supposed to put your toe on it and haul your body weight up. Um, yeah.
But anyway, I do feel cool that I overcame my fear and got to the top. Ben, Felice’s husband, was cheering everyone on and asking how they felt. Everybody shouted stuff like “this is great!” and “I’m having so much fun!” and “Exhilirating!” And before I could shut my mouth, I yelled “This is horrible! I feel like I’m dying!” which, you know, isn’t that positive, and I really shouldn’t say stuff like that in public but there you go. When you go down, you get released pretty quickly, which made me scream but apparently, no one else was scared like that b/c no one else screamed. Thank you.
2 Replies to “rock wall climbing”
I have never rock wall climbed, though I wd love to try (I am highly physically competitive). Strangely, I have similar fears concerning video games that my children …5 and 3 year old included… can trounce me at. I actually sweat if they make me play them, and then my frustration levels skyrocket to the “Horrible-Wanna-Die” plateau. And then I am angry all afternoon. And yet, the 4 boys in my house …Danny included… are constantly making me feel like SteveMartinPartyPooper (Father of the Bride) when I politely refuse the GameBoy version of Pokemon. Overcoming phobias is only good up to a point. And then, its a sadistic type of therapy perpetrated on you by those who shd love you better than that.
I can understand you freaking about games, and I feel like men get mental about video games. My only strength in that area is House of Dead 2 and Area 51.
I really felt horrible going up on that wall. I guess there’s some kind of merit over facing fear, but I’m glad you don’t think I have to repeat it. I imagine you would be awesome on it.