Saturday, July 25, 2009

Challenge Yourself

Last weekend we visited Hollin at Mount Gilead Christian Camp where he's currently working on the rec staff.

We had a beautiful day together under the redwoods where it was cool and refreshing after the heat of our town. After breakfast and getting caught up, Hollin took us to the climbing wall to show us the ropes, quite literally.

Picture from

Nathan was the first to climb and after some effort, made it to the top. Unfortunately he had the camera with him so we couldn't get a picture.

Frank was next and it was a struggle because his running shoes were too wide, he kept slipping off the footholds. Despite this he kept at it and got higher than he originally thought he would.

Having watched the guys climb I decided I wasn't even going to try. Too hard. But part of Hollin's job as assistant to the climbers and manning the ropes is his kind encouragement, "Give it a try, I'll be here to help you."

My first effort went fast and felt good, then I paused and rested. The second effort was frustrating and I got angry at my body; I wanted to do this thing and it wasn't helping. Hollin was on the belay rope and told me to sit in the harness and rest again. "Shake out your arms. Take as long as you want, it's okay." The third effort I was tired but felt good about continuing to try beyond where I thought I'd quit. Finally I was done and done in: "Okay, let me down." He released the lock and down I slid, that was fun. Going down took seconds. I was pleased. "Look, I climbed!" "Yes you did!"

Hollin belays campers on the wall every day during the week. He told a few stories about other climbers and their varying levels of success. He said one middle school girl came to the wall every day and tried. Each day she struggled with the challenge she'd set for herself and each day she didn't make it to the top. On the last day of camp she came to the wall and as she got into the harness told Hollin, "I'm going to do it today. Don't let me down unless I'm crying." She made it to the top and rang the bell. I was amazed that someone that young and yes, a girl, knew herself well enough to persevere like that. Maybe if I'd had summer camp experiences like these when I was in middle school, I wouldn't be so afraid to try new things. But it's never to late to challenge yourself.

1 comment:

Fabricfaire said...

Wowwee! You done better than I would!