Having a Heart Attack at 60 Feet in the Air
Rock Climbing Is Not For The Faint Of Heart
I'm screaming, "I'M GOING TO FALL!" With a small jerk of a half inch rope and not putting much faith into the carabiner that I'm hooked in, along with the harness that is attached to my body. I feel it. I'm having a heart attack. The surge of endorphins and adrenaline pumping into my veins, my heart feeling like it is literally going to explode and I'm going to die.
What's going through our heads is always much more dramatic than what it really is. Did I die? No. Did I have a heart attack? No. Did I have the surge of adrenaline going through my veins? Yes. I'm entrusting my 110 pound, 14 year old daughter to be able to support my weight of 200 pounds at 60 feet in the air.
Nonetheless a little anxiety ridden, adrenaline pumping through my veins, exhaustion depleting from my legs and finger tips I make it to the the top. I take in the view, "Wow," it's pretty up here, even though when I am looking down at Kristen and the instructor, they feel and look like they are ants. The anxiety kicks back in, the realization hits me, as my toes are on an edge no thicker than a half inch and I have a finger tip grip on some very small rock looking attachments.
WHAT WAS I THINKING? was going through my head. I'm 46 years old, I smoke, I drink, and I'm 30 pounds over weight. I wonder, am I a candidate for a heart attack at my age? No more than everybody else who is in the same boat as I am at 60 feet in the air.
I was thinking, that this would be fun. I see it in the movies, granted it's Hollywood, and to keep actors safe, they put them on a green screen in a studio where they are no more higher than 15 feet in the air. But in the movie they make it look like they are 1,000 feet or more hanging from a precipice of a small rock overhang.
What I was thinking? I was thinking, I moved to Idaho falls to be closer to my daughter. I had custody of her for the last three years, and she chose to come and live with her mom for her high school years. I followed suit; I had always been there for her when we lived in Montana. I wanted to be there for her in Idaho falls. I googled "fun things to do in Idaho falls with teenagers."
ROCK CLIMBING!!! How hard could it be? We take a half hour class, learn some of the ins and outs, and what to do and what not to do. Okay, we're ready. Hahahahaha—there is so much more to learn. Shoes, ascenders, ropes, carabiners, harnesses, chalk, how to tie in, how to repel, belay on, grip, and grip strength, push with your legs to climb. There was so much to it that it became a fun challenge. Five hours later, we're beat, our knuckles are scrapped, our knees hurt, and we look like we were run over by a freight train, dragging ourselves to a booth in Kristen's favorite restaurant.
That was a month ago. Since then, I have gotten a membership, comfortable shoes, and climbing clothes (nothing loose fitting, and something that is definitely not snug; I haven't seen a guy in there wearing spandex). I have watched videos on YouTube to learn how to have better, stronger grip strength and exercises to warm your body up before you start your endeavor of rock climbing. I have been rock climbing steadily for three weeks now, and have loved it so much that I am no longer having heart attacks at 60 feet in the air.