by Shelmith Chepng’etich
It was my first day at this sport, to be honest, I didn't think that I would do the actual top rope, I mean, those walls are pretty high and I was convinced that only the pros could go up. To my surprise, I was actually talked into trying the real challenge. My partner identified a route for beginners for me, and I started going up. The adrenaline rush at each step as you go up cannot be put in words. With each step further up, you know you are actually moving away from safety. Starting at the bottom was quite manageable. I got somewhere halfway and boom! There was a bulge. A pyramid protrusion that blocked my route. I couldn't see beyond it. This means that in some way my route was lost, I could not figure out where my next hand hold was. You have to note that all round, there were other visible holds, there were other routes accessible at that moment. I could have taken the easiest way out and just grab the hold nearest to me. But that would be breaking the rules and even if I made it to the top, it wouldn't be considered a success. At this point, my body is already feeling the strain of staying in one position for a long time. I thought to myself that after all this thing didn't look easy, it is for the experts. I wanted to come down.
However, my partner on the ground kept cheering me on. She could see beyond the pyramid, which I couldn't from where I was. She could see where the next hold was. She told me that I just needed to propel myself just a bit more and I would be holding the next hold. She directed me on my movements, on how I would best be able to maneuver the pyramid. I carefully listened to her, did what she told me and guess what! I did it! I got hold of the next hand hold! And oh man! It was a nice one, it was big, and one with a very good grip, the kind that you look forward to as a climber. I got past my obstacle! I got past the pyramid that had stood towering, threatening to deter my progress. I got to the top, completed my route and came down satisfied and happy with myself. I had successfully completed my first round.
This particular one gave me quite a number of life lessons to take with me. I will just share a few;
1. The pyramid was an obstacle in my route. I had the option of getting past it, or giving up. In life, there are dreams and ambitions we have. Achieving them isn't always a smooth ride. There are setbacks and obstacles that seem so real and if we let them to, they can be what kills our dreams. However, we must get past them! Beyond the obstacles lies something beautiful! However to be able to get to it, you must get past the obstacle first. Do not take the easy way out of quitting or choosing an easier path. That is not what you wanted. Focus on your route and work on it. As you encounter setbacks, always remember… beauty lies beyond the obstacle!
2. What enabled me to be able to maneuver past the pyramid, was my partner. From where she was standing, she could see beyond the obstacle. And her help and guidance is what enabled me to get past it successfully. So it is with life. There are real friends around us who desire nothing but the best from us. Those who share in your dreams. Those who want you to become better. When we are tired and want to give up, from where we are standing more often than not, we most likely have run out of options. However, at times our partners can see beyond the difficulty. They may be used by God to encourage you to hold on. And more to it, they actually may be having an answer on what we need to do to overcome the difficulties we are facing. We must be willing to allow ourselves to be helped at times. We also must be willing to listen and to allow someone else to hold our hand and help us get through the obstacle we are facing. You just need to have the wisdom to discern those who desire your best. They are the ones who will help you get through it! Always remember...allow yourself to be helped at times.