I’m scared of heights. While I love mountains, rollercoasters and flying – it’s probably more so the fear of falling that makes me hate the height. So what better activity to participate in then climbing up a wall, right??
I’ve been wanting to try rock climbing for some time, and unbeknownst to me a rock climbing “theme park” of sorts opened up close late last year – blame the fact that I was only focused on running to not knowing this info!
Clip ‘n Climb is unique in the sense that you don’t need to have a partner as your anchor, it has it’s own automatic belay system which uses your own body weight to safely deliver you to the ground. Also it has a range of different and challenging walls to climb.
So far I’ve had three experiences – one was spent being a little nervous but keen – one of the instructors helped me get through the jumping off the wall part and I managed to get up the top of three different walls (although still somewhat hesitant about the jumping off part); the second time was horrendous – I kept thinking about the jumping off part while I was still on the wall, I wanted to climb down most of the time and then I freaked out on the top of the Morse Code wall and froze, started crying and kinda fell off to being an absolute wreck at the bottom. I did climb another wall soon after (gotta get back on that horse right?) but I scaled the majority of the way back down.
So when it came to the third time I honestly wasn’t going to go, it wasn’t enjoyable that second time around. But that first time, I did have fun. I realised that if I didn’t go back and face my fears then I never would. So I went back for a third time.
I decided that I had to change my mindset, what was leading to my anxiety was the overthinking. Clip in, climb and let go. It’s that simple.
I started off on a wall away from the majority of people (where I could take my time and several goes of going up and jumping off to be comfortable). There’s nothing worse then feeling anxious when you’ve also got a line of under 12’s waiting for you to stop being a big wuss!
My goal was to climb high enough to jump off and repeat but going higher and higher with each turn. Soon, I had reached the top and then let go, making my way to the ground. There was no time to be nervous or get sweaty palms – I hadn’t given it much thought before throwing myself off that wall. I honestly felt the most incredible sense of pride – in fact, each time that I had reached the top of the wall and come down without issue I was cheering!!
I had stayed well clear of the Morse Code wall until they called final climb. This was my nemesis from the previous visit and while I was still a little nervous to climb, I wanted to conquer and end on a high note. Making it to the top was ok, although I did start to get nervous as I reached the higher levels. This was it. I had to hit the button making the entire panel light up in success of the climb and jump off.
I almost held my breath as I reached up, hit the button and waited a split second to see what I was going to do. Would I do it without thinking? Or would I freeze and freak out again?? As I pushed back I felt the chains of the previous visit break free. I had done it! And I was safely making my way back to the ground fist pumping the air. I felt like the champion of the world! People may have thought that I was crazy but overcoming one’s fears is nothing that shouldn’t be celebrated.
I realise that I may go up and down (no pun intended) with this activity, somedays I’ll freak out but other’s I’ll keep progressing forward. The important thing is to keep going.