Facing Fears

So I was out of TKD for a week due to needing a cortisone shot in my foot and being at a conference for work. Sooooo today was the Black Belt/SWAT retreat. Since I am both it is hard to get out of this even though it was at Adirondack Extreme Sports and I have a DEATH fear of heights and or falling. No this was not the place for someone like me but I thought I can do this….oh boy……..I need to stop lying to myself.

We did the orientation which has a big block on safety and I get that. The course is above ground, like 6-10 feet above ground to start and wobbly, really stinking wobbly. I made it across the trial area and had a false sense of accomplishment. The only thing that rattled me was the tightrope type obstacle as i was not a fan but all right I can suck it up. Loved the zip lining so I thought for sure I could handle it. Hmmmm someone should have doused me in reality.

I get to the back of the line with the “slow folks” because even if I had enough bravado to get through the trial..yeah the course would be challenging. The people in front of me were awesome and going my speed so I was happy. We go through the first two obstacles, not super pleasant but not awful. The third was a wobbly bridge and the terror set in. Next was a rock wall type set up, no problem I know I can climb, zip line down yep life is good. Forgot to put my feet down on the landing..hand over hand to come back in on the zip line..sigh ok learning point. Another shaking thing which resembled a tightrope and this one was longer than the first one we did…nope not liking that at all. Next a suspended bridge, ok not bad. It then dawns on me….the folks ahead of me are not moving. I get to the platform and the wife looks shaken, she says she cannot continue she needs a break. I go around her and the others behind me do as well. Tricky maneuvering when you are on a tree platform gotta tell you. Another suspended bridge type thing no worries, a zip line and I am good safely on a platform no one rushing me.

I take a minute because I hear someone yelling “guide guide guide” but guides can’t see them so I direct them because I am in the air, they are on the ground and I can see where they need to go clearly. Help arrives, person is all right just terrified and cannot continue. Yep know the feeling but I am almost at the end of course 2 so I can’t quit. It is the wife of the team in front of me, parents of one of the TKD students. I feel bad they wanted so much to be able to do this!!! We have a series of suspended swings you have to step on one at a time to the end. I want to panic myself as I am NOT a fan of swinging in high places suspended from a cable. Sweat is pouring off my like I am a faucet I am sooo shook. I get to the last platform and the Master Instructor’s sister greets me. She can see I am visibly shaking and offers a hand to walk up the small path to where lunch was. I manage to get myself up there completely shaken and unwilling to continue.

We eat lunch and my BFF was going on and on about how much fun it was. Yes I had a saying for it too that started with f but no not fun!!! I was adamant I was not going to go on, I knew it got higher and more challenging and nope nope nope. My BFF promises she will be behind me, we can do this, another couple says they will go behind so I am not rushed, I begrudgingly agree….poor judgement on my part.

Now the course is about 20-40 feet up. Starts with a climb and a zipline…ok no problem there. Goes to another suspended traverse the log type thing that swings side to side AND back and forth. I wanted to quit right then and there. My BFF convinced me it would be all right and the ground guide said more people make it wobble less…..umm ok fine but we are up high too and I am afraid of that as well. I get across and am cursing like its my job. I am also shaking so bad the my BFF agrees I need to take a break. Next couple obstacles are like suspension bridges, so a bit wobbly but not awful. Then we hit the logs…..OMG the logs!!! Some moved back and forth, some swung up and down some did not move. I honestly thought I would pee myself I was so afraid. My BFF tried to help but terror had set in. I made it across and was crying, yep literally I was that terrified. We zip line to the next platform and we see logs that look like telephone poles with rungs on them to step on. I know cling to the log, step, grab next log step….in theory I know how to do this. In reality the terror was too great.

I made it about two from the end and my arm gave out and I completely lost my footing. I fell, THANKFULLY I was harnessed in so I was suspended 20 feet in the air and my friends were screaming “guide guide guide” Me I was too terrified to move and I had no idea how to pull up as my arms had completely given out. They got to me fairly quickly and lowered me to the ground. I was shaking so badly I had no ability to walk so they told me to sit a minute. Finally I could get up and climb up the hill to the end of the course. My BFF saw me and gave me a huge hug. I looked at her dead in the eye and said “NOPE NOPE NOPE I AM DONE!!!!!!” Someone passed me a water and the parents of one of the kids kept asking how I did not panic. I looked at them and said “Did you hear my voice?” they said no so I said “That is how you know I am panicking I can’t even talk I was so freaking scared!!!!”

I went to the staging area where other TKD folks were and we all sat and talked while everyone finished up. Yep faced my fears NOPE NOPE NOPE never doing it again.

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