Feed your faith and your fears will starve.
by Pete Ferguson
Okay, so there is never a flattering photo of someone rappelling down anything, but this one is pretty rad – especially since it is zoomed in to hide the true height at which I started my descent.
The last time I had rappelled was when I was 13 and it was horrifying. I had to be cajoled into it by my family and others after some time and threats of being a chicken or a wimp.So when my kid brother invited me to go rock climbing and rappelling over our family reunion last week – I didn’t exactly jump at the occasion. But then I decided it is time to man up and address my fear head on (or hopefully feet first in this case.)
I purposely chose to try to NOT to think about it in the days leading up to it. This was not helped as we toured the North Rim of the Grand Canyon and I embraced my fear of heights by slowly creeping up to the edge of thousand foot cliffs to peer down.
I purposely chose not to dream about it. And when the day arrived, I found myself wanting another valium – which was very useful when I had laser eye surgery a few years back.
But all of the wimping out was really draining too. It was good though because it made me angry. And anger is a great motivator. I became sick and tired of my fear towards heights.
The day arrived and as I began to climb up about 50 feet, I only allowed myself to focus on the present. Where was I currently? Where is the next hand or foot hold?
I took lots of deep breaths. Breathed through the anxiety.
I was on a rope, and I trusted our new friend and guide, Angela, to keep me from falling to my death. I had on climbing shoes for the first time – which make a HUGE difference and adds confidence – and I wasn’t about to be shown up by my brother or brother-in-law.I also saw a group of a bunch of kids who didn’t “know better” to be scared. That definitely ignited my inner competitiveness.
And so I climbed. And I made it to the top, and rappelled down.
And it was exhilarating and I didn’t plunge to my death.
I didn’t do a lot of looking down, to be honest. That will come next time.
And I can’t wait for the next time.
I kicked a fear that had been nagging me for 27 years. And that feels fantastic.
What fears are holding you back? Time to send them packing. Find a great guide, make the financial and time investment, and overcome what is holding you back!