I am always up for a new adventure. That being said, I don't consider myself to be exceptionally adventurous. I have never been a thrill seeking adrenaline junkie. I like my feet firmly on the ground, the absence of vertigo, and the security of knowing that my accidental death is not looming. Feeling out of control or unsure makes me feel scared, not exhilarated.
Despite my aversion to risky activities, I sometimes find myself in a situation where my participation is expected. In December my hand was forced, and I found myself sitting behind the wheel of a go-cart. I didn't relish my time racing, but I survived unscathed and was proud that I managed to complete the race without crashing--and without crying!
Last week I was invited to go rock climbing. I immediately knew that I had no desire even to try to climb a fabricated rock wall and desperately tried to finagle a way out. My amputation, which has been a godsend in getting me out of a variety of unfavorable activities, was not going to be a valid excuse because my instructor was also an amputee. In a last ditch effort to get out of the climb, I tried to explain that I was retaining water and had cramps. My ramblings were quickly dismissed, and before I knew it, I found myself sporting a harness and facing an imposingly tall rock wall. To my chagrin, and against my better judgment, I approached and prepared myself for what I foresaw as a painful--and probably disfiguring--fall.
I was trembling as I took the first few tentative steps up the rock wall. I learned that my body strength resembles that of a kangaroo. I have strong legs but virtually no arm strength. My arms quickly turned to jelly and were relegated to assisting only with balance. I really need to work on developing some upper body strength. I was forced to rely upon my foot and prosthetic in order to conquer the wall.
In spite of my spaghetti arms, I reached my goal of touching the rock wall ledge. As an added bonus and to the delight of my instructor, I didn't vomit, faint, or fall. I came home exhausted but managed to write down "go rock climbing" on my Bucket List simply because I wanted to cross it off!
Scott, as always, filmed the entire experience. I wasn't graceful or pretty, but I made it!