So this is me scaling that rock face. The creative, music geek, NON-athletic, "I love the outdoors but on MY terms" person. To say this is NOT my thing is an understatement. Then several years ago I find myself with an Outward Bound requirement for my year in the Waccamaw American Leadership Forum (WALF). It was not an option, so I powered through 5 days in the woods, sans tents, showers or toilets, with the top leaders in our region.
It was one of the most profound experiences of my life! The opportunities for learning about myself presented themselves with every rock I climbed, every pass I navigated, every group rehash session, every knot I tied, and on and on.......
The lessons from the mountain were endurance and strength and recovery and stamina and courage and cooperation and communion and self-reliance and adaptability and most of all......letting go.......
That moment in this picture, captured for perpetuity, was the exact moment when a friend on the ground shouted "come on Annette, get your ass off the wall, stop clinging"!! I pushed away and made it to the top. It hurt, I was bruised and battered and crying (sobbing really), but I did it and that sense of personal achievement, the euphoria of knowing you made it through something that was very, very difficult IS empowerment.
Have YOU scaled a rock and arrived bruised and battered but in one piece knowing that you did it and absolutely NO ONE can take that away??
We shall not cease from exploration,
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets