Rock Climbing

Date Published: Oct 3, 2006

There was a time when a boyfriend, that I refer to as Mr. Love-A-Lot, took me rock climbing one weekend. I scaled four walls of rock over one hundred feet high. Previously, I had climbed approximately fifty feet above the ground, so in a day, I doubled my personal best.

Having my body one hundred feet off the ground wasn't all I accomplished...I accomplished something far greater. I found out that no matter what situation I put myself in...I don't beat myself up, I keep going and I acknowledge myself every step of the way (even when the steps aren't on the ground).

It was gratifying to see my fearless progress in action doing something physical I had never done before. Because, let's not forget, when you are a hundred feet off of the ground everyone can see your butt. Especially Mr. Love-A-Lot who was forced to stand directly underneath me as he belayed me for an endless amount of time while I crawled, scrabbled and generally, climbed like a definite beginner. In other words, it wasn't pretty.

Just imagine for a minute your butt in a sling (it's a harness really but it looks like sling from the ground). And anyone driving by can see your butt waving high in the sky. And for that matter, forget the cars, anyone walking by can check you out, and they will. (Rock climbers are a friendly group. They always stop and talk to find out how you are doing and what routes you have conquered.)

As I was scaling my most difficult route, a group of gawkers stopped by and basically, stared up at me for, what seemed to be, hours. So every time I looked down to make sure Mr. Love-A-Lot was still there (because I was scared) I would see a bunch of strangers with their hand on their foreheads shielding their eyes so they could get a better look at my butt climbing up the wall.

So what was I saying about not beating myself up? Anyway, you get the point.

The good news is I didn't beat myself up during the climb. I was too busy trying to figure out how to stay on the rock, but afterward, I had to do fearless double-duty as I couldn't help but notice that I wasn't the fittest climber on the rock. (Mr. Love-A-Lot had 8 percent body fat. And lest not forget, that rock climbers, in general, are the fittest folks around. Rock climbing is one of the most effective and efficient sports for maximizing body potential.) Sooooooo....

After each climb, as I touched the ground, I concentrated on what I DID do, how I DID risk, how I DID improve rather than worrying over and over about the shape and size of my butt. And I was proud that I didn't ask Mr. Love-A-Lot once during the weekend anything about my looks. I also didn't hint about my insecurities by pointing out the body perfect babes (secretly hoping he would mention how he loved me and my body). To sum it up, I didn't force him to make me feel good about my body, I worked on that internally myself. I had to decide what to focus on...climbing or my butt. Having fun or my butt. Believing Mr. Love-A-Lot loved me or my butt.

You get the picture. So that weekend was a success. I put my fearless principles into action and practiced mastering, once again, my Wheel of Fear. Identifying my Wheel of Fear has truly changed my life. I do realize whenever I am taking a risk, off or on the ground, that I have a choice: fear or freedom. I make that choice moment by moment. That choice determines my overall happiness and my ability to see myself clearly.

My wish for you...that you too can climb any wall your heart desires and focus on what is happening within you rather than how you are looking at that moment...because you and I both know...if I focused on my butt during that climb, I would have never gotten off the ground.

Climb on my friend....and climb high.

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