My son and I have started doing a regular sport and exercise of rock climbing. For now we go to a local rock gym and scale their mighty and cleverly placed wall mounts with and without ropes. Initially I used to think that there was no way I could do this, yet gradually over the course of practice I was able to do it. Interestingly I never seem to take the exact sequence of steps when I climb. I am always going upward yet many a time I find myself having to go back down a step or two and redirecting my climb to my goal. Few steps back for more leaps forward and upward. Granted as I get stronger I am able to do this with more ease and grace. Not there yet, but getting there. Sometimes my climb appears lateral and sometimes more vertical as intended. I am always thankful for my belay person ( the one who handles the ropes and the braking from the ground) to help me when I do fall or let go, as they catch me quickly as I dangle mid air before my next maneuver. This got me thinking….
Life is not unlike rock climbing. I continue to traverse my vertical terrain as I would all the various obstacles in my life, as challenges to be overcome. I struggle, I falter, I redirect. Sometimes I do have to take a few steps down and then have to re-chart another course to the top. Sometimes the course means taking a few steps laterally. Sometimes a lot more laterally, until I am stronger enough to get back on the vertical track. The course is never the same, just like the challenges are never the same. Firm footing in whatever position I am in whether feet or hands are paramount as I launch to the next obstacle. My life is no different than that of others. Filled with daily interruptions I have to navigate my day till the very end. I try desperately to get a few more chores, or more activities or just a few more connections in before I retire for the night. Some days I am not ready to climb, I take a day of rest. Some days I re-chart and have redirect my steps constantly. Always looking for that peaceful “me time” I find that the journey to the top is just that, “me” time. The quiet focus of mind and body while rock climbing is the constant duel of my mind and body in daily practice. The solitude of rock climbing is similar to my focussing on my tasks for the day. At times I have to pull away from the rock wall in mid climb as I am fatigued.The belay catches me. The same holds true for the universe. I try, I try, I try some more and then I try yet some more, I am fatigued and push away, and the universe catches me in my moments of fatigue. Briefly rested I continue the climb. I try yet again.
My life seems to be all about this rock wall. Climb to the top, yet do not be discouraged if it does not happen in that one sitting. That is what tomorrow is for. Secured to my belay ropes I am safe and protected with the ropes of the universe, namely faith and courage. I keep focussed with my attention towards the top, and I climb. Higher and higher I go, requiring yet even more strength as gravity and the weight of life and my problems try to drag me down. Security and confidence in my footing helps my exercising adventure. Knowing my identity and being confident with it helps me navigate my wall of life. Not being present in the moment can make me trip and fumble and fall. It makes for a better experience when I do stay in the moment, after all that is what makes the rock climb and my journey through life worth it and exciting.
Rock climbing? Check your ropes and just climb, never look down or look back.