I recently went to a rock wall gym with a friend for the first time in a very long time. To be completely honest, I was a bit nervous about going because it had been so long since I climbed up a wall with no harness or assistance. Rock climbing is new, different and something I am not used to doing.
I am not totally sure why I was intimidated. I’m in pretty good shape, quite athletic and usually take challenges head on. The only thing I can think of is I didn’t want to look like an idiot in front of the other climbers at the facility. I also didn’t want to find myself stuck 15 or 20 feet up a wall with no where to go. What would I do then?
But you know what?
It was really fun. I did very well, especially for my first time in like 10 years. I didn’t really even feel fatigued or tired, which tells me my endurance and strength are still there. I didn’t look like an idiot, in fact I felt quite at home and fit in with the more advanced climbers there. I was able to scale the novice routes no problem, and even attempted more advanced ones with little hesitation.
Right then and there I decided climbing is something I want to put more time into and develop skills so I can get outside and into the “real” climbing environment. It’s also a damn good workout.
I learned a few lessons the other night.
1) Putting yourself in new and uncomfortable situations is the only way to grow and get better as a person.
2) It feels good to overcome fear, intimidation or whatever the little voice in your head is trying to hold you back from.
3) You never really know how you will react to something until you jump right in and get at it.
4) In reality, no one cares about you or if you look like an idiot. That is a very self-centered way to look at the world.
So…. forget about whatever is holding you back from that cool new experience. Just do it.