This bizzare choice of activity is solely motivated by the fact that I cultivated a fear of heights about 2years ago after a roller coaster ride in Santa Monica and it is an activity that many of my friends enjoy. So it seemed like a win for me.
In general, many would associate rock climbing to the many motivational poster where we see a man hanging on a cliff with some positive notes on it.
Truth is, it does seem that way but it isn’t.
After a few months climbing indoor, I decided to try outdoor climbing. No difference to what I already know or learnt but its on a cliff, in nature with no 4 walls to give you the sense of a safety net. Not to me at least.
You are unfamiliar with the routes. They are not colored accordingly. You have no idea where your hand holds are and where you are going until ur hands manage to blindly find a hold that is workable to make the next move.
I usually don’t have a problem climbing till about 8 metres high. However, with outdoor climbing, u work the routes on cliffs. The height varies with each route and most are higher than 8 metres.
I was on one route and 75% done. I was that close to touch the ring (the metal loop at the end of the route, a sign u completed the route) but I was stuck. I couldn’t find my next grip and nothing stable enough to pull me up.
Instinct tells me to look at the coach/belayer for directions as they could see from below and usually, would know the routes better. That was the moment where I felt my whole heart was in my throat. How high I had climb and how far I was from the ground.
I started breathing so hard and I was panicky. Climbing is dangerous when you panic. Panicking, freezes a person and sometimes unnecessary movement twist the rope. You, your ropes and your belayer have to be in synced.
Despite my desperate attempts to be lowered down, my belayer was sure I could finish the route if I stop panicking. Here’s the thing, I am hanging on a harness, 13 metres in air, arms sore, my grips are barely stable and I am breathing frantically. I was scared.
After a few shouts back and forth, I forced myself to find that last few strands of courage and mustered all the energy left, calmed myself and keep saying, “I can do this”. Every movement was echoed by “I can do this”.
And off I go, one more push followed by another and there I was, touching the ring. What I am trying to say is I could have given up. The difference between giving up and completing a task is that one more push.
In fear and panic, I found that push. Like every drought season in sales, all you need is that one more push for another cold call, another meeting for another closing.
Nothing is over until you choose to give up. Only you can make that choice and a choice that makes difference. One more push or give up.
My thoughts – if that circumstances, hanging by a harness with my fear of heights kicking in, I could find that one more push. I don’t see why I can’t when I am on the ground in my comfort zone doing what I do best.
I hope you will take away a valuable lesson from post and look for that one more push today.