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What Climbing Taught Me About Letting Go

by Shelmith Chepng’etich

Earlier on this year, I was introduced to a new sport, rock climbing. I must mention that it is exciting, thrilling, fun and at some point gives you that adrenaline rush. Sounds good already, right? Well, there are many lessons one can pick from this particular activity right from the preparation to the actual climb. Today I will just speak on one such lesson.

Being new to the sport, it goes without saying that I started at the beginner level. After some initial instruction on how to go about it and a session of bouldering, I got to do some top roping. I tried several routes,  and when I went for the last one, I felt too tired to give it a go. My climbing partner who was more experienced in rock climbing, encouraged me to give it a try, and so I did.

As I was climbing, I got to a point where my limbs started shaking uncontrollably, a sign maybe that they had taken all they could. I tried to compose myself but that did not work. To make it worse, my palms got sweaty, this is bad news because a good grip is what gets you to a higher level. I could see the top where I was meant to get to, but I just couldn't  see how I would get there. I tried to push myself harder but I had reached my limit. I told the person belaying me, that I was tired and I couldn't go any further. I  decided I was going to come down. I decided to give up. She told me not to give up but instead take a break. That's what I did. For a moment I let go and allowed myself to hang loosely as she secured me from below, giving me the support I needed to do this. After a few minutes I was rested and got back to climbing. Guess what? I got to the top! I did it! It was actually much closer than it looked earlier on!

As we journey through life, there are many things that we are striving to achieve. At times the journey gets so tough that giving up seems to be the only option and the easiest way out. During such moments, we will feel drained  and though the end may be  in sight, we just do not  see how we will get there. At this point remember to take a break whenever necessary, but do not give up! That breather might just be what you need to realign the dipoles of your life in one direction and might be what gives you that last push to achieve it. No matter what life throws at us, always remember, take a break when necessary but do not quit! 

During challenging times we should allow ourselves to "hang loosely" in the hands of God. He is our support and biggest cheerleader: and when we catch our breath and get back to it, we will surely reach our intended goals!

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