I'm going to be real honest here... I have a very real, very irrational fear of heights. The view from a plane doesn't bother me in the least, but standing next to a cliff freezes me. The fear of falling to my death does weird things to my brain and I wish I could accurately describe it. Since I try to avoid situations where I may die, this issue doesn't come up often, but this weekend it did.
Adam and I decided to take the dogs on a little hike to find Abiqua Falls. The hike is supposed to be moderate, and the falls beautiful so we headed out. Very quickly we approached a pretty significant decent. It's steep enough that they have ropes along the trail to help hikers get down. And for those of you that have done this hike, it wasn't the easy trail through the cut out logs, somehow we didn't know about that one until after we made it down.
We made it about an eighth of the way down before I froze. It's irrational and stupid and it tends to make me mad because I can't help it. It feels like I can't balance, or like I'm going to fall off the earth somehow. My muscles freeze and I panic a little. It's like my brain just quits and I can't tell if the ground is level anymore. Adam asked if I wanted to quit and there is only one reason I didn't. I may be a little bit competitive. Just a little. So I just put one foot in front of the other, maybe slid a lot, and freakin made it to the bottom.
And boy am I glad we didn't quit. As we hiked towards the falls you could hear the roar before you could see them. Then rounding that corner with the sun creeping through the mist. It was breathtaking. So I just stood there with a grin on my face. I know there are bigger, more remote, more beautiful falls. But in that moment, after stickin it to a fear, these were perfect.
So as I tend to do, I got a little introspective on the drive home. I'm challenging myself to start acknowledging my fears. And to reconsider what "conquering" them really means. Because a lot of times those fears remain with us and we just have to push through on shaky legs. Then maybe next time, we'll remember the reward and how it's totally always worth it. Face them fear babes! Happy Monday!