And I'm all.......what?????
To rappel is on my list of 52 figs, sure. But it's one of those distant, hazy figs that I know one day I'll do because I started this list and will lose face if I can't finish it. It was never something I thought I'd do just because, even though the gym rock wall stares me in the face every week and even though there are harnesses and lines for rappelling just waiting to be used. No, I thought I'd wait for my husband to get home, to pump me full of Army-issued courage and bravery. He could yell things to me like, "Don't worry, dear. Pain is just fear leaving your body!"
But there I was, with my son's enormous blue eyes looking up at me. My kids know I'm afraid of heights, so I looked down at him and said, "Oh, son, I would but I'm afraid of heights."
Then, of course, I realized my moment to show my kids that even if you're afraid of something, you can still try. It was one of those after-school Hallmark moments, and I took it. I put on the harness and thought: I'll just climb a bit, not look down and be done with it.
I got about a quarter of the way up the wall and froze. My hands were shaking, and I had somehow (in less than three minutes) broken out into a crazy flop sweat. I couldn't go up and I couldn't go down. The gym guy was yelling, "It's okay, just let go." But I couldn't. Even though I was in a harness and linked to a wire, I was sure that if I let go I flop to the ground in a massive heap and probably break every bone in my body. I literally hung there in a slippery death-grip, and I'm not kidding when I tell you that I was only about five feet off the ground.
I slowly climbed back down. Forget rappelling. It was all I could do manage my feet on those slippery little rocks, one wobbly step at a time.
It took me three tries before I would let go and use the rope to rappel down. My kids were so excited, you can't believe it. I made it a third of the way up the wall that day, and even though I landed straight on my ass every time I got down, my kids were really just pumped.
We went to the rock wall three more times before I got it. Every time I do it, my hands shake and sweat. I can't look down. I just have to keep going. But yesterday, I got to the top and rappelled down, three times no less.
Fig.....checked. I have officially rappelled.
It feels great. I don't think I'll go climbing any mountains or anything crazy, but it feels good to know that I can face heights and get over it and do something I'm afraid of. I mean, this AND being able to braid challah. Is there anything I can't do?