Average Jane

Finger Grips and Foot Holds — Lessons in Life

It’s very infrequent that I am inspired. Scratch that. I am often inspired but never moved to action.

This weekend, two of my best friends were in town. I’ve known them for going on 4 years Gavin and Jeremy (from London and Seattle respectively) were here for a long weekend. We had amazing adventures through the streets of DC. We Marched on Washington, went to the spy museum, drank, cooked, ate amazing food, had lively debate. While they live on opposite sides of opposite countries, seeing them always warms my heart. Not only do they push me to know more, they push me to do more and be better.

Jeremy, my friend from Seattle, is an incredible person. Not only is he strong in body, but in mind as well. He took me rock climbing this weekend, something that not only had I never done, but something that I had absolutely no interest at all in doing. Ever. In the effort to be a better person, to push myself, and to grow, I went. (Note: It was an indoor gym, with bouncy floors and big mats to fall on. I actually went “bouldering” which is ropeless climbing on problems that go no higher than about 12′).

I learned a few things rock climbing that surprised me and humbled me. I guess I’d like to share:

1) Even if you feel really strong in your every day life, new challenges can humble you and make you realize you are weaker than you think you are.

2) When you are looking for a step up, even the smallest foot hold can support you if you trust it.

3) I am stronger than I thought I was.

4) There are certain times when you are doing something and feel like you’re alone. In reality, you’re never alone. There are people surrounding you to help you and guide you and catch you when you fall.

5) If you don’t reach the top, you are not a failure. You’re a failure if you don’t keep trying.

My rock climbing experience was something that I will never forget, and something that I will do again. Jeremy inspired me to break out of my routine and try to become stronger physically and mentally. Rock climbing isn’t an effort of brute strength, although I learned that rock climbers are strong as hell. It’s an effort of mental strength, endurance, agility, and trust. For teaching me all those things and more, I am eternally grateful to him and the other amazing rock climbers who supported me.


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