I’ve written in the past about how much I love indoor rock climbing, or bouldering. It’s a great way to build strength, it’s fun, you get to challenge yourself every day, and there are no ellipticals or scales in the women’s locker room. It’s not about perfect abs, it’s about strength.
I’m afraid of heights, so the exercise challenges me on many levels.
I’m afraid of falling off the wall. Afraid of reaching for something and slipping. Sure, it’s only ten or twelve (!) feet down, but your head is so much higher than your feet, and it feels … well, scary.
I’m a bit of a wimp, and I’m also not very strong. So, bouldering is perfect, since it pushes my comfort zone (and my arm development). And, when I start to feel weak, I get scared.
One day, I decided to reach for it. I was tired, my hands were sweaty, and I was scared. I reached with my whole body to get to the last hold, and the worst happened.
From the very top of the wall to the floor below. I bent my knees, and let my butt absorb most of the impact.
As I sat there, I thought, “oh, so this is what it feels like to fall. This is what has scared me every time I climb.”
And I realized something really important.
It wasn’t so bad.
I was okay — no bruises, no scrapes, didn’t hear a popping sound on the way down, nothing.
Ever since then, I have been more brave. I have reached higher, I have pushed myself more. I’ve fallen again, sure. But I wished I had fallen at the beginning.
Being afraid to fall was more debilitating than actually falling.
I think this applies to most things. If you let fear hold you back, it will. A better strategy is to try to fail early, so you know how bad it can get.
Make it a baby fail, not like, putting your life savings on red at the roulette table.
Keep pushing yourself. You’ll never know how far you can stretch!