Monday, September 2, 2013

Fear Factor


It's been both an exhilarating and anxious year for me.  It started moving back to Colorado from Morocco.  Two weeks afterward, the Waldo Canyon Fire threatened to burn down our home.  I started  belly dancing while trying to balance a sword on my head.  At about the same time, I started taking pole dance classes, which is extremely dangerous when you are an excessive palm sweater.  Then when I finished writing my book and queried agents, I faced a mountain of rejection letters.  We took all 4 kids on our 20th anniversary trip to Costa Rica where we canopied through the trees on zip lines and I got asked out on a yoga date by our guide.  Which was more than a little awkward.  

Did I mention I'm deathly afraid of heights?  I am.

I didn't really think the whole thing through before we went.  Cause I do love a challenge, especially an athletic one.  Until we suited up.  And I realized that what goes up, must eventually come down.  Descending means simply letting go and leaning back and hoping to god I don't free fall and spiral down to my death in the middle of the rock climbing gym. 


Easier said than done.

I took my introductory how-the-hell-do-I-work-the-auto-belay-class,  and totally tried to pretend I'm a normal person who doesn't have excessively sweaty palms exacerbated even more by excessively high heights.

But I do.  And I am.  Really stupid for putting myself in this high anxiety situation.

But this is my year of tackling fears.  Like that baby shower I still haven't RSVP'd to yet that I really want to go to, where I'd only know one person. The one popping out the baby.  Maybe today, I'll gather the courage to e-mail a "yes".  But, today we're talking about yesterday....

I gave it a couple practice runs.  Scaling the rocks, ascending just a few feet at first.  Then reluctantly leaning back, closing my eyes, trying to remember how the hell the Hail Mary goes, before I confirmed I was going to hell if I died anyway and then let go of the rocks. Then, I got the courage to go a little higher.  And a little higher.  Before I decided I needed to go to the top.  Not because I wanted to, because I had to.


What I may have neglected to mention is, climbing up the rocks is totally fun.  


Just do not look down for a photo, because everything looks a hell of a lot higher when you're actually up there.
Rookie mistake.


Eventually, I got all the way up here.  So maybe it wasn't the pinnacle.  I didn't summit or whatever.  But, for me I totally did.  And I didn't even scream like a girl on the way down.  So, stupid fear of heights, I win!  Because I said I did, that's why.  

The pent up anxiety and constricted blood vessels that caused also won me a migraine and a cab ride home.  But while I'm on this facing my fears marathon, I've got to go RSVP for that baby shower.  Social anxiety, I'm gonna wrestle your ass to the ground. Oh, crap.  The invitation only has a phone number. So now I have to call and talk to someone.  Oh god, here we go.  I hope her voicemail picks up.  I can do this...

10 comments:

Suerae Stein said...

You ROCK! Haha... couldn't resist! I think it's great that you are striving to conquer your fears. I have been spending quite a lot of time doing the same thing myself. We also did zip lines in Costa Rica. In fact, I called that whole vacation my "Fear Factor" vacation. Anxiety is a horrible thing, but we can overcome! You GO!!!

Carolina HeartStrings said...

Wow girl. You are certainly up to challenges - physical and otherwise. Inspiring!

Ann Mullen said...

I wish you could bottle your bravery and send some to me. Good job, Marie. Even with the headache that came with the territory, you won.

Carol Tomany said...

Great post. I would never do the climbing though I did Cinque Terre this June. I can really relate to the social anxiety - hate phoning people.

Cerebrations.biz said...

Now, you know why I never volunteered to accompany my children to those rock climbing events. Getting up is one thing- looking down and getting down- that's the hard part...

MuMuGB said...

Marie, with 4 kids where do you find the time to do all of this? I am impressed. I shamefully admit that I have never tried rock climbing. I am a bit scared of it, actually.

Joy Page Manuel said...

Holy crap, you sounded so much like me! I can totally TOTALLY relate to your social anxiety and for the longest time, I thought it was partially attributed to my being 'non-American'. I thought I was the only one weird enough to avoid phone calls and not attending gatherings where I don't know anyone else! You've just given me the gift of 'normalcy' and I will forever be grateful, Marie! Here's to a new 'season' of conquering our fears, one step, one rock at at time!

Shannon Lawrence said...

You and I are neighbors then! Well, I guess that depends upon which Waldo impacted area you live in. Still, close either way.

That last paragraph sounds just like me. I have social anxiety. I absolutely hate when there's no email to RSVP to. And I plead mentally for my call to go to voicemail. Oh please, oh please, oh please. Sigh.

Shannon at The Warrior Muse

Barbara said...

Wow, Marie, conquering rocks (absolute no go for me) is one thing, but belly dancing with a sword on top of your head (do you want to laugh?) and pole dancing (hanging there like a potato bag, no thanks). Not to speak of vanishing into another world behind a burka. I am so glad you have some fears after all!

Blogger said...

I've just installed iStripper, so I can watch the sexiest virtual strippers on my taskbar.

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...