I have always tried to avoid activities with extreme exposure because I have a tremendous fear of heights (no skydiving for this chic). My heart starts racing, I sweat profusely, I experience shortness of breath, and my legs and hands tremble uncontrollably. It isn’t a pleasant feeling. Once, I thought I was going to have to be airlifted off the top of Angel’s Landing in Zion National Park.
I made it down on my own eventually and embarrassingly by scooting on my butt at some points. The dramatic and stunning views were worth it though.
A couple of weeks ago on a Saturday Aaron texted me, “want to go to Earth Treks (our local indoor rock climbing gym) after work?” I responded, “ok.” He may have been just as shocked at my response as I was, but I figured if I hated it, I could just run on the treadmill in the gym. Besides, I had recently come across this meme:
I want to rise! (I think)
This is Earth Treks in Golden, Colorado:
It is an impressive and massive facility offering 28,500 square feet of climbing, 45 feet high walls, a bouldering area, yoga studio, and a fully stocked gym.
Aaron (who started climbing in New Hampshire at the age of 7) and I met up with our friend Martin, another highly experienced and knowledgeable climber. I felt like I was in good (safe) hands.
We started upstairs in which the walls have some easier routes and most importantly for this sissy, they aren’t as high. My first attempt, I made it about 12 feet up when I looked down and the panic started to set in. Ugh! Why did I look down? Aaron lowered me down and I needed some time to “get my shit together.” I told the guys to go off and do their thing. I was going to run on the treadmill for 30 minutes, get out the jitters, and then try again.
After a good run on the treadmill, I went back to the wall for another attempt.
Double checking everything is safe and secure.
Martin is a great teacher! (Poke the alien in the eye 👽)
I got this!
I got this again on another route!
Ok, I’m totally having fun now.
After a slightly discouraging start, I put on my big girl pants, and really started to enjoy the experience. Don’t get me wrong, I still got freaked out by the height, but I tried to just breathe and focus on the wall in front of me. I love the strategy aspect of climbing. Where do I go next? It’s like a vertical version of the game Twister.
So a week later I got my own harness and shoes:
I’m also learning the techniques and safety measures to belay my climbing partners. On our next visit, I took my belay test with a staff member and I was able to belay Aaron on his climbs. It was so much more comfortable than I had imagined and lucky for him (haha) I felt safe and confident performing the task.
The goal is to visit Earth Treks on a weekly basis, improve, and RISE HIGHER!
Stay Tuned 😉
Sincere thank you to Aaron and Martin for teaching me the ropes! (See what I did there?😉)