To say that Em had regrets about what transpired--or, rather, what did not transpire (see point #6)--last year at our Shabbaton/family camp/retreat/call-it-what-you-will is to understate the point. And I mean waaaaay under. So far under that state that you'd probably hit magma.
And so, before heading off on this year's adventure, there was a lot of processing of last year's experience. There was also a lot of setting of goals regarding said rock wall, and what she would and would not expect of herself. And there was a lot of worrying that, when toehold came to fingerhold, those goals would fly right out the window.
Which is why, as we stood in front of The Wall that Saturday morning, I upped the ante.
"If you go up as high as you said you would," I told Em, looking her in her nervously shifting eyes, "I'll give it a try, too."
My fear of heights is almost as notorious as my fear of having to take the inside seat in a restaurant booth. (What? I'm claustrophobic. About specific things. All I can say is, you never know when you might get permanently trapped by the juke box in some Greek diner in NYC. And so I make sure that simply can not happen. Stop looking at me like that.) Em knows that simply having to climb up to the second step on a stepladder is enough to make me tremble visibly. So she also knew that for me to make this offer was BIG.
"Wait a minute," she said. "Are you saying this because you don't think I can do it? Or are you really willing to go up there?"
"Try me," I said.
And so, after a pep talk from the awesome woman who runs the ropes course and rock-climbing wall at the camp, she tried me. Boy did she try me.
See where her head is in the photo above? Her goal was to get some part of her body to pass the line just above her head.
And the photo above here? Is where she reached her goal. It's also where I started hyperventilating.
Yeah, I'd say she reached her goal. And so it was my turn. The photographs are courtesy of Em, who didn't stop grinning the entire time I climbed. Of course, that wasn't very hard. If I was on that wall for 30 seconds, that was a lot. And I mean it. It was A LOT.
I don't actually look like I'm about to vomit, right? Yeah, I'm impressed with me, too.
My left foot isn't actually on the ground in the photo above...but it's close.
I've made it up another, oh, six inches here. Go me!
See how far above my head Em's 'goal line' is? It's not going to get much closer to me than this.
Aaaaaand...That's it. That's as high as I could force myself to go. But probably three times as high as I've ever voluntarily climbed on anything ever in my entire life.
For the record, both Em and N were very proud of me. Although I will say there was more than just a note of condescension in Em's voice when she said, "You did really well...for you. You should be proud of yourself just for getting up there."
But I wasn't. I was much too busy being proud of her. As, I suspect, was she.