A new definition of romance…
It’s Valentine’s Day and like most happily married couples, my husband and I had some ideas on how to celebrate this special occasion. We had thoughts of heavy panting…seeing each other in new, adventurous positions, feeling our hearts race with excitement. Ninety minutes later, I was sore, but had a huge smile plastered on my face.
We went rock climbing, of course!
So I realize this may not be the first thing that comes to your mind when you think about love and romance, but it was actually the perfect Valentine’s Day date. Not only did it give us time away from our two little kiddos and a chance to try something new together, but it’s also an activity that actually requires something critical in any good relationship: trust.
Working as a team…
In my mind, rock climbing would be fun…but not necessarily difficult. I thought we would basically just show up, put on a pair of climbing shoes and well, start climbing. Not the case.
First, I have to say, the place we went to is AMAZING. It’s an old church that has been converted into a huge indoor climbing center. I can describe it in one word: beautiful. Large stained glass windows, old wooden pews…the moment I stepped through the door, I was in awe.
Before we could start, we had a training session–learning how to tie several knots correctly. And this is when I started to get nervous–it was definitely more involved than I was initially expecting. It took me several minutes of practice, but eventually I got it and then we headed into the climbing area.
As a climbing novice, I didn’t realize that my husband and I wouldn’t be climbing at the same time–that instead we’d need to work as partners. As one of us climbed, the other was at the bottom and responsible for constantly keeping the rope secure, being ready to help if there was an unexpected fall and lowering each other when it was time to come down.
It. was. intense.
The hubs went first. As he started climbing, the instructor was giving me tips on how to best manage the rope to keep him safe. He reached the top, but then I could tell my husband was a little bit nervous about coming down; he doesn’t have a fear of heights, but I’m pretty sure for a moment, there was a fear of me not being able to handle the lever correctly and him quickly hitting floor.
Like I said: trust.
Now, in full disclosure, it did take me a little bit to really understand how to operate the lever. Let’s just say, he had a bit of a bumpy ride, but he made it down.
Climbing a wall: my new metaphor for life…
Then it was my turn. My husband made the climbing look easy. I quickly realized that it’s harder than it looks.
About half way up, I was surprised by my reaction: I got nervous. My heart started pounding and I found myself wondering, “what in the world am I doing on this wall!?” But then I looked down and saw my husband smiling up at me..and luckily that was exactly what I needed to keep going.
Turns out I learned a lot more today than just how to tie some knots. I learned that climbing is a challenge. You have to think carefully about how you are going to reach your goal…figure out ways around obstacles and trust that your partner will be there to protect you. There are times you get scared, worried that you’re going to make a wrong step and fall, but if you try, you can find the strength and courage to climb even higher. It hit me: Climbing a wall, is actually a lot like living your life.
I was so proud when I made it to the top–56 feet. But truthfully, I was also very happy once I made it back down and had both feet on the ground!
Wise words on an old wall…
When I was leaving the center, I noticed a quote that was painted on one of the walls: “Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.” -Helen Keller
My sentiments exactly.
Life is about challenging yourself to try new things, learn new things, experience new things. And it’s about finding that special someone who will be there to catch you if you fall.