Monday, September 12, 2011

Climbing the Alpine Tower of Life

This past weekend my husband took his hockey team to McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario to conquer the Alpine Tower.  This is the second year in a row that he has opted to do this as a team builder and once again it was a huge success.  This year I went as the photographer, last year as the team’s trainer, I too pushed myself to defeat my steep fear of heights (only because the boys teased me into trying).

The tower is 52 feet high and staring up at it creates butterflies.  The fear of heights is one of the top five biggest fears shared among the population (and I share it with).  It is perfectly safe as you have a harness around your waist and a person that is holding your climbing rope through their own harness.  They make sure that if you fall, they will catch you.  It still doesn’t help you to overcome your big fear.

Climbing is physically demanding, but also emotionally draining.  By the time that you’ve reached the middle platform your hands are aching from the need to pull yourself up from the little grips.  And when you look down to check on how your partner on the ground is, you realize how far off the ground you are, but still how much further you have left to climb.  Your entire body shakes and all that breath in your chest is punched out.  At that point, you find out what you’re really made of.

At that point, I had wanted to quit.  Politely asking my partner to lower me down, but he very politely refused.  With a cheering a section from my team and some self talk, I managed to pull myself together and found the strength physically and emotionally to keep going.  I didn’t look back until I reached the top.  It was the most exhilarating experience looking down to see what I had accomplished.

As I watched the team go through similar experiences, it made me realize that we all go through struggles, but we have to learn to be a good cheering section for not only ourselves, but the ones that matter in our lives. 

The Alpine experience is something that I draw on when there are tough times in my life.  I look down deep inside of me for some words of inspiration and if I can’t find it, I go to my cheering section.  If I could conquer my fear of heights, I can conquer anything. 

What are you afraid of?  Who is your cheering section?  Are you a good cheering section for the family and friends in your life?

Thanks for reading!

R.J. Garside :)



Marsha A. Moore said...

Tough times are a part of life that does strengthen your character. Also, as writers, it gives us ideas to write from, plot lines as well as ways to add depth to our characters. I'm currently facing some issues where I must be a care-giver to my elderly mother, challenges so great it makes me shake. I can only guess what depth of character I'll gain at the other end of the hardship. Great post!

Ella Gray said...

Way to go, RJ! That challenge would be really tough for me as well - I am not a fan of high places, LOL. It certainly looks like an amazing team building exercise :-)

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