It’s Saturday afternoon and I’m hovering approximately 20 feet above a small crowd of people I’ve just met. OK, I’m not actually hovering—it’s more like a dangle of sorts, attached to a complex system of ropes in the middle of Castle Rock State Park in northern California. I’m a first-time climber, but thanks to a friendly climbing guide, I know what I’m supposed to be doing: Find the crevices in the earth that I can use—along with the intense grip of my climbing shoes—to pull me higher. Unfortunately, at the moment, I’m motionless, paralyzed by fear… and the slight hangover that’s been plaguing me all morning.
Realistically, I know I’m not in danger: I’m in a climbing harness, shoes, and helmet, and the intricate belaying system is secure and already proved its strength earlier when I lost my grip. Instead of falling to my death, I only skidded several inches lower. Despite this awareness, I have an incredible urge to give up. My head is pounding, my muscles are aching, and the ground below seems very, very far away.
If you’re wondering why I’m surrounded by strangers in the middle of the woods, hungover, literally hanging by a thread (a very durable, incredibly thick thread, but a thread nonetheless), it’s because I couldn’t pass up an invitation to the CamelBak Pursuit Series. The adventure-filled weekend in Sanborn Park is designed to give adventure-curious people like myself the opportunity to dip their toes into the vast world of the outdoors—like adventure sports, wilderness survival skills, and, blessedly, portable coffee.
I consider myself an active person: I’ve run marathons, finished an Ironman, and am a run coach. So when the call of the wild came, I answered it from with a resounding “YES!”—even if it meant living without the social crux of WiFi or a decent phone connection for three days.
At the moment, though, my stoked-ness levels are not so high. I’m feeling the repercussions of a three-hour time change, a happy hour the previous evening, and a 5:30 am wake-up call for a surfing expedition. The negative self-talk unravels: You can’t do this. Why did you drink so many beers last night? You should just ask to come down and not show your face for the rest of the day.
A voice from below snaps me out of my trance: “You got this, girl!”
Read the full article on Greatist, here.