It was a moment that I will never forget!
When I was in my early to mid 20’s, I really turned into an adrenaline junkie. I, with the help of the individuals that surrounded me, looked for ways to stretch the limits of our abilities as human beings. (Kind of a lofty way of saying we were a little crazy) Knowing that I had a lifetime of work ahead of me pushed me even harder to try new things. So, one day I remember hesitating when a family member of mine told me about a night trip that he wanted me to take with another friend of ours.
You see, we had been repelling cliffs for about a year. A couple of times in Tennessee…A couple of times in Georgia…and it was really kind of un-supervised. Our friend had been doing it for a while, but he was by no means a certified professional. Who cared back then because we were all invincible, right? (I still think I am to a fault) So, the question was whether I wanted to repel a 150 foot structure in a city outside of Atlanta. (I am protecting everyone involved as you can see. WINK!) Now this was not your ordinary repel. The structure was not a rock face or a pre-built obstacle course…nope it was a large metal structure with challenges in terms of tieing off the ropes. I of course after much internal struggle said…OKAY! Peer pressure is a bitch.
Shhhhhhh…someone may hear us!
As we came to the structure, I remember telling myself this is a bit crazy. I don’t think it was illegal or anything, but it was most definitely something that I am sure cities discourage. Step by step we made our way to the top. There was no railing to hold onto. Nope we just climbed the exposed ladder all the way to the top. There was one thing I noticed as I was making my way up…I was excited, exhilarated and I felt quite free as I looked around at the surrounding landscape. Once we all made it to the top, we planned our “Free Fall” so to speak. I paused…absorbed the beauty and took a mental snap shot that I will never forget.
I was the first to go down. It’s always that first step off of the ledge that is the hardest because the slack in the rope has to catch up for about a foot. Once it does…you are just hanging there with no where but down to go. I let go, floated for about 75 feet, took my guide hand and clamped down on the rope stopping me about half way down. The moment was breath-taking and all though I knew this was a bit stupid in the grand scheme of things, I was glad I did it.
What does this mean?
I am not sure if I will ever do anything like that again…I really like the ground much better now a days. But, I remember this moment like it was yesterday for one reason. It was challenging mentally and physically. My cave man brain did not want to attempt such a feat at first. (Fight or Flight responses are for the less evolved and should only present themselves when you are in danger) I started immediately thinking of excuses of why I should not do this before I even gave it a shot. This is what happens to most of us! We are presented with something that could change our lives in one way shape or form and what do we do? We start thinking of ways to not do it because we are scared. Now, I am not saying to take risks such as this, but what I am saying is that you may miss out on something wonderful if you keep saying I can’t do this or that.
You are not a turtle and you do not have a shell. Your first reaction should NOT be to try to hide. Sometimes you MUST take a chance and accept the challenge that is being presented to you. It could present a moment that changes your life for the better!