You’re arms are trembling, shivering with fatigue; the blood, heading down to your feet from your arms. Your fingers feel like they are going through rigamortis. Sweat is dripping down into your eyes but you have no way of wiping, lest you fall to your death. Scared to look down, but scared to stop, you continue working your way up a wall which feels as tall as the Eiffel tower. It seems like a decade has passed since you left the ground you so yearn for this very moment.
You carefully lift your right leg up, then your hand, then your other leg. Continuously remembering what your supervisor said; “keep your groin close to the wall, maintain your centre of gravity and don’t give up” With this in mind, you try for the second time to reach for that last hand grip… But you can’t.
You’re exhausted, you’re weak, you’re tired. Your heart is ready to give up on you like you thought your arms would do just moments earlier. Confidence almost depleted, Embarrassment levels hitting record highs, you grit your teeth and squeeze your toes a couple of centimetres up, so you’re calf muscle feels as if it’s on fire. You look up once again, say a little prayer and reach up to try again….and this time you grab it.
The relief… Exquisite.
With your harness secured to the rope, you warily let go of the wall, look down and to your surprise, you’re only 5 metres off the ground… What the HELL!!
You put a thumb up to your friend and saviour down on the ground; the ‘belayer’ the one who holds the other end of your rope. He acknowledges your indication to return to safety and so you slowly drift down to the solid, secure, sacred ground. But you feel it’s not over.
Expecting a blitz of abuse by your peers and fearing an onslaught by your teachers (because you MUST’VE done something wrong) instead arrive to a smile and friendly pat on the back, “well done, you did really well”
You’ve got your bearings back; you allow the sensation of conquering a fear to gradually sink in, look up to the monster that you have just championed and think to yourself, “huh… That wasn’t too bad. Think I’ll go higher next time”
My first, small, short story about a young man climbing for the first time, accompanied with his fear of heights