I watched each boy climb the steps inside the tower. I can do that, I thought. I’ll take a look at the view and then tell them I don’t want to abseil down.
“Lean back and walk back slowly,” he said. I did, all the while thinking I could back out any moment. I reached the point at which the tower went vertical. I braced myself at the edge, let the rope out and walked down. I was abseiling. It was fantastic.
Many training runs remind me of this. There’s a part of me that wants to snooze the alarm, take a ‘rest day’, go later. But while that part grumbles I get on with putting on my running gear and getting out the door. I know I want the adventure. I know how good it feels. That’s what drives the consistency of action.
I don’t override genuine concerns. If the abseil tower and instructors had been anything but safe I am confident it would have tipped the balance. I wouldn’t have done it if I felt I wasn’t physically capable of it.
I have taken what I learned that day and applied it to other challenges. There is no adventure without an element of fear. It prompts me to break the challenge into manageable pieces. I check against it to make sure I have what it takes. I use it to inspire caution and concentration in my preparation.
I consciously go beyond that frightened lazy part of me that wants to pull out for no reason.
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