I remember looking up at my friend who was being lowered off of the rock route he just led. I remember watching him climb the entire way, being excited for him and faking being excited to go up after him on top-rope.
"I hate this sh--.", I thought.
"I hate heights. My brain just can't handle it."
I had climbed once before, and all I could think about was shaky legs, sweaty palms, and the constant feeling that I would fall off and get hurt, even though my belayer was perfectly competent.
As I looked up the rock, I told myself "Just tie in, climb to the third bolt (maybe 20ft up) and then you can get lowered and you can go home without feeling like a TOTAL chump."
As I tied in, I remember the tunnel vision set in. I remember being encouraged from my friends, but I don't remember processing it, because my brain was completely focused on the terror that lay before me.
I started climbing and I noticed something interesting... I was having fun. The tunnel vision in my eyes opened up a little and I began focusing on the moves in front of me, piecing them together in a way that felt smooth, natural, and... fun.
In a few moments, I heard a metallic rattle in front of me and looked up to see the chains and the anchor.
Wait, but what about the third bolt? I looked down to see it almost 70 ft below me.
I couldn't believe it. I climbed the whole way up the route, and had fun while doing it.
The Give'r philosophy is to promote a lifestyle fueled by passion, purpose, challenge and adventure, to take the road less traveled, and the desire to share the wonders of life with others. For me, I discovered challenge and adventure that day in Estes Park, Colorado on a 5.4 rock climb on top-rope. I had taken the 'mental' road less-traveled, and came face-to-face with uncertainty, doubt, and fear, and I came out on the other side with a passion and belief that people are capable of more than they know... they just need to be shown that, and afterwards, they won't be willing to settle for less. I saw it in myself, and now I love to see that spark in others who I take climbing for their first time. Keep passing the flame people!