Isaac and I spent an exhausting three weeks in Asia and returned home this past Wednesday. We felt like we needed a vacation and escaped to Moab on Friday and Saturday to do some of the things we really love. We climbed a route called Ancient Art and mountain biked the Slick Rock Trail.
Ancient Art is a trad route of three pitches at Fisher Towers. A lot of people recognize it from a Citi commercial. It’s easy enough until you get onto the plank and realize how exposed you are. Looking up the climb today I found that it’s 400 ft (120 m) off of the ground. It’s a good thing I didn’t know that yesterday. I’m the kind of girl who didn’t ride any of the exciting rides at the County Fair or at theme parks. I got nervous on Ferris wheels. If you slip off the plank while walking over it you have a pretty good pendulum swing over the valley. I’ve done a few multi-pitch climbs before, and it’s been good for me to escape from the fear that holds me back from doing a lot of things. But when I got to the plank, I was set on not going across it. I was finally cajoled into going given that I could crawl across it, which for me was actually very monumental. I then climbed halfway up the corkscrew when I decided I was tired of feeling scared and wanted to just get back to the ground. My company tried to get me to go to the top because I had done the scariest part and that I would regret it if I didn’t. I thought I wouldn’t regret it. But guess what…I did.
As soon as we started descending the tower I felt that empty feeling. That emptiness when you didn’t finish. That feeling where you didn’t give it your all. I climbed 385 ft and couldn’t do the last 15. Today I realized that there are some feelings that you never want to escape from, even if they turn out to be more gut-wrenching than your fears. It’s that sadness, that feeling of failure, and that disappointment in oneself. These are the feelings that drive people to accomplish and to be better. It surprised me that I felt disappointed, but it was good for me to realize that I won’t be complacent. I want to overcome my fear a little by little each day so that each day I can do a little more.