“You have to start somewhere”
I’m sure that you’ve heard that quote more than once in your life. It’s meant to encourage you. When I was younger, I would have no part of a statement like that because I needed to be the best. Have you ever felt that way? For me, it was about passion and drive and always having to impress. Truth is, that sort of passion and drive doesn’t always work. Well, it didn’t for me.
I didn’t try a lot of new things. Not because I had fears, but because I had to be great at everything I did. Then something happened that changes all of us – TIME. As you get older, you lose some of those inhibitions. Some of us even get ornery, and some of us start trying new things and aren’t afraid to fail. Perhaps fail is too harsh of a word. The better word, specifically for this article would be “fall”. As in some of us try new things, and aren’t afraid to fall.
I wasn’t. Afraid to fall, that is. I wasn’t afraid to fall because I challenged myself to climb a rock path at Alt Rock in Barrie. They’re Barrie’s only indoor rock climbing and bouldering gym, and a whopping 14,000 sq. ft. They have the biggest foam mats to catch you and that made me feel secure. I have to admit, I’m not the most physical person out there. I don’t go to the gym but do go lane swimming once a week (no fear of falling at a lane swim either, btw). At Barrie Uncovered, our manager wants us to write about certain places and activities. But how can you write about rock climbing if you haven’t experienced it? Well, my manager solved that issue by sending me and our photographer Steve over to Alt Rock. “Try rock climbing!” he said.
So I did.
On the day we went there, I went through many questions in my mind. What if I fall? What if my arms aren’t strong enough? What if I look like a fool? Over and over again. Sharon and Rock Climbing? I never thought I’d hear those together in the same sentence, let alone try it. Then another question came to mind, “What if I like it?”
That’s the real question.
I got to Alt Rock and let the owner Mike go over how it all works. Then a young girl came up to me and said, “You can do it” (someone must have put the kid up to it). I went to one of the smaller walls to start my climb and OMG, it was easy peasy! It felt good. I took a look around the room of many, many climbing walls and suddenly it all became a possibility. Not on that day of course, but it went on my list of “someday soon”. I skipped about three walls, and went on to the fourth. Do you ever talk to your challenges as if they are capable of responding? Like, telling your computer to be nice? Or telling your food not to burn when you are cooking? Yeah, that’s me.
Well, I talked to the wall.
“Hey, Mr. Impossible! I have a plan and you have to let me do it. I’m going to climb up, smack the top and then climb down. I want to look graceful and strong, but mostly I just wanna do it, ok? Let me do it.”
And I did!
So that’s my story. I’m sure the video will prove me a little wrong (why did I agree to a video?). As a writer, we are afforded something called embellishment (*wink).
Here’s my advice. Get yourself to Alt Rock. Step away from your comfort zone and perfection. Try something new without fear, and ask yourself the important question, “what if I like it?” Would you mind if I answered it for you?
You will. You will like it.
I’m going back and I hope to see you there. Come say ‘Hi’ to me and let’s see what we can do. I hope you don’t mind talking to me upside down, because I plan to be on the big walls sooner than you think! Oh and btw, that’s another example of embellishment. HAHA! See you there, friend!
Written by: Sharon Johnston