I am breathing hard, my heart is pounding in my chest, droplets of sweat fall down my face, my hands are over gripping a sharp crimper just below the anchors. I am lost and scared. I have no energy left in my arms. I can’t hold on anymore. I am about to let go. But I want to stay on. I want to find my breath again. I want to calm my nerve and go up. I want to send and avoid falling in the void.
I know the rope will catch me, but those seconds before then are infinite and I want to try my best to avoid the weightless fall.
So, I recollect my thoughts. I free my mind. And I am back on my game. The sweaty palms are now sticking to the sandstone as spider webs on an old ceiling. I am going nowhere, but up. I clip the anchors and I take a restless breath. I am safe. Safe and not sorry. Safe and grateful for the lesson learned. Safe and electrified from the victory of mind over body. A rush of adrenaline runs down my spine when I touch the ground again. I am standing on my own two feet, no more hanging upside-down in the air. I am home. But what a trip! I take a couple more breaths. And repeat.
Up there I had forgotten the reason why I do this. But now it’s all coming back to me. I get on a vertical wall to fight gravity and pull myself up to the top despite the empty feeling in my stomach because I like to push the limits of the human mind. Sometimes I win, sometimes I lose, but over all I gain confidence in myself and trust in my capabilities.
That’s why I climb.