When was the last time you:
+ Did something for the first time?
+ Challenged your body and mind simultaneously?
+ Came face to face with your limiting beliefs?
+ Felt your fear try to over come you?
+ Let go and felt exhilarated?
On the weekend, I went indoor rock climbing for the first time. It didn’t seem like a big deal at the time but so many things happened in one evening, that I’ve realised how important it is to do new things more often.
Surprisingly, climbing itself was not that difficult and, on my first warm up run, I powered up the wall quite easily but I hadn’t actually considered what happens when you get to the top (hint: you have to let go of the wall ENTIRELY and let your rock climbing buddy do all the work to get you back down).
Cue: minor freak out.
Learning to let go
The idea of letting go and just trusting everything will be okay is still a VERY new concept to me (both figuratively and literally, it would seem) and that is definitely put to the test when you’re up a wall and it’s the only way down.
After a little coaxing, though, I managed to get back down to solid ground and, by my third go, was starting to feel pretty comfortable with the process.
Then, in true Katherine-style, I took on a much harder wall – about three times the difficulty of the ones I’d been doing (and probably not for beginners). This wall was much higher than the others, the hand and foot holds were smaller and further apart.
Coming face to face with fear
I got about halfway up and got stuck, my wrists and hands started to fatigue and then I felt this sort of fog come over me and all I could hear was a voice in my head telling me that I couldn’t do it. I wasn’t going to make it. I may as well just give up now.
I yelled down that I couldn’t go any further, that I wanted to come down, and then my PT/life coach/forever guy yelled up, “You’ve got this, you can do it.” and if that’s not enough to kick a person out of the fear zone and back into forward motion, I don’t know what is.
Be willing to fall
The closer to the top I got, the more I felt like I was actually going to make it and then, in an instant (as these things generally go), I lost my footing.
When I slipped, a shot of adrenalin hit me and before I could come to terms with falling (one of my least favourite sensations) I realised…I was okay. The ropes caught me as they are supposed to and I was safe.
It was hard to continue on, with my body feeling like jelly and all, but I pushed myself further than I thought I could and then, after resting for a bit, I tackled an even harder wall. And I stumbled on that one too but there was no way that was going to stop me. Something new had started to take over where fear and uncertainty had previously kicked in. A new determination that I am looking forward to seeing more of in my life.
When I walked out of the rock climbing centre that evening, I was sore and exhausted but absolutely exhilarated to know that I’d pushed my body and my mind further than I have in a long time. That fear, in the end, really IS just what you let it be – your mind playing tricks on you and that life is about accepting that you will fall sometimes (and that you can’t start anything, unless you’re prepared for the very real possibility of this).
I can’t believe how one afternoon trying something new led to so many realisations about fear, trust, self belief, support, letting go, and not giving up.
It made me realise that, although I’ve made huge leaps this year and learnt oh-so-much about myself, I’m definitely capable of so much more than I’ve been aware of.
Maybe I’ve been conceding a little too early in some areas but, this time I didn’t. I felt the burn in my muscles, I heard myself say I couldn’t do it. And then I did. I didn’t quit when I stumbled, I didn’t give up when it got hard, I got really present with my fears and I kept going.
Talk about a fundamental shift in your belief system.
So, tell me, when was the last time you did something for the first time and pushed yourself to see your own limits? Have you had an experience like mine before? Let me know in the comments below, I’m so excited by this new discovery and I want everyone to experience it!
As you know, I’ve done lots of new things this year, and have been practicing letting go in major ways. But boy did I feel my heart pulling when I read your post – what an amazing article. It’s been a while since I’ve pushed my body specifically in that way – in fact, probably since before I had Daniel and before I started to recover from my eating disorder and let go of my obsessive fitness regime. This resistance has been out of fear of going back down that old path – but you’ve inspired me, lovely. It’s time to start pushing my body again – and trusting that I’ll be okay and that the lessons from my previous experiences will help me out. Thanks for sharing such a beautiful experience with us. Wow, do you have a way with words xo.
Oh you are so beautiful, Naomi! Thanks for such a wonderful comment, you made my day. And I’m so chuffed to hear that it resonated with you. Look forward to hearing how it goes, lovely lady xx