Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Reverb Day Three: Brave

Brave | What was the bravest thing you did in 2013?

This one is easy. Brave or stupid?*
I was hiking up Mount St Catherine's in Grenada, in October.  We had been "inside" the rain forest, but as we neared the summit, the trail would pop out on the top of the  foliage.  You could then have a spectacular view, and could also see how narrow the trail was.
The trail is right in the middle
We came to a section where the climb was nearly vertical.  There were plenty of toeholds worn into the dirt.  But most of these were too far apart for my short little legs.  I had been compensating and adopting as we hiked/climbed along by fitting my knee into a toehold, lifting myself up with my quads, and then slipping my foot into the spot.  
At this junction, this was not going to work.  
There was a rope attached to the tree.  The trail was exposed here, on either side.  The trail was slick with mud, so it just was not a matter of fitting my foot into a toehold, I was afraid that I would put my foot in, and as I reached up, my foot would slip out...and I could fall.
Vaughn said to use the rope.  I was afraid that the rope would swing me to the side, off the trail.  I didn't think I had enough upper body strength to  power through this.
As I stood there, I thought to myself " I can't do this."
I could not believe I had that thought.  This type of thinking, of no, I could not possibly do this, does not happen often.  We were less than 1/4 mile from the summit!  How could I not do this? How do I go back to my husband and friends and say "well, just too short and scared to do this"  when I do plenty of other brave (and stupid things)?
 This all took place in about thirty five seconds.

Then I grabbed the rope with my right hand, some random tuft of grass with my left hand, hoping it would  hold, got my foot into a toe hold, and climbed up that little wall.
Problem solved.
I wasn't quite sure how I was going to get down, but I resolved that was a problem for the future..

 *Many things us ultra runners experience go  under the same category: brave=stupid*

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