Earlier in the school holidays, some of the Jones family headed off to one of those forest high ropes courses. Ah, the things you do as a parent to keep your kids entertained eh? 😉 Luckily, or perhaps, unusually, the British weather was dry and not too hot.
The issues I have with the above – climbing activities that is, not our children 0or the weather 😁 – is twofold. Firstly, I’m okay on a dog walk, but if the Zombie Apocalypse requires a lot of clambering about, I’ll be in trouble, being somewhat of a duffer. 😉 Secondly, I’m not good with heights. There’s something about being high up that just does not do for me. Even in very tall buildings, going up to the glass is a little too much. Still, who said phobias always made sense?
Here’s the strange part: as a kid, the nearby village had come together to build an adventure playground for the local kids. The climbing activities seemed, well, looking back, I guess Health and Safety didn’t really come into it. Although I do remember one rather high wire activity behind removed after the local numpty feel off. Here’s the thing: no safety ropes, harnesses, soft bark chipping, or crash pads.
As I stood sensing my feelings hedging towards nervousness, I thought: what’s the actual risk here? Maybe a bruised backside if you fluff the zip line landing. Provided I keep my safety lines clipped on, wouldn’t I be okay? Rather than look at fear as something to keep me safe, what if I looked at it more as a warning? A not so gentle nudge to sense check things.
With that, my mind drifted to getting out dressed in Lynn mode. I thought on all the things in that situation that were, in many ways, out of my control. Traffic issues, who I might meet, bigots, failed alphas needing to validate their sexuality by yelling, the Toilet Police, etc…. But, if I could put those risks and worries to one side, could I do the same for the climbing?
I thought on the idea of what I’ve said to others about getting out en femme or coming along to Chameleons: Go as far as you feel okay. Go at your own pace. You can always go back if you need to and try again.
So this isn’t about the happy memories of enjoying the rope swings, slipups, and distinctly unglamorous landings, nor the chest beating of conquering one’s fear. Moreover, I think it’s about taking a calculated risk. Acknowledging that some things are scary, but why let you hold you back? Big Girl Pants on, and here we go.