Change isn’t always comfortable. It involves risks. To reach new levels, it takes work and preparation, but sometimes, you just have to go for it.
For years, I’ve been going to Las Vegas every Spring for a National Taekwondo tournament. One time we took the kids with us and were walking near our hotel, when we found an “M & M” outlet store with a 3-Story Climbing wall inside!
To climb the Matterhorn shaped wall, you harnessed up on the bottom floor and took one of several paths up the mountain, using the hand holds. An “M & M” employee would stand below and hold the rope that controlled your harness from a pulley up on top.
It was completely safe. If you lost your grip, they’d just lower you back down. You’ve probably seen similar setups at the county fair. But this one was huge.
Family members would wait upstairs on the 2nd or 3rd floor and watch your progress. Of course the kids scampered up like squirrels.
When it was my turn, it looked a lot different than looking down from the balcony. The handholds seemed smaller and harder to reach. There was also a surprise on the “adult” route.
Halfway up, the grips were placed just a little too far apart. You couldn’t comfortably reach them. You couldn’t even stretch and reach them. There was only one option: you had to go for it. And I just couldn’t do it.
I couldn’t let go the grip I had, and trust that I could reach the next one. I was frozen. I couldn’t move. Finally, after a couple minutes, they told me to jump backward and they’d lower me down.
I was embarrassed. A Black Belt, expert in Martial Arts, “successful entrepreneur”, and fitness guy, and I couldn’t do it. What really burned me was I knew that I was harnessed in. Nothing could happen. If I missed, they’d just lower me down.
Everyone was nice enough, but I stewed about it the rest of the day and all evening. By the next morning, I’d had enough. I had to go back and try it again. We all tromped back to the M & M store and they all waited upstairs while I went down and got harnessed in.
I was so steamed that I charged up the base of the mountain. As I approached the point of no return, my head was screaming, “Just go for it. If you miss, they’ll lower you down. Just go for it.”
I knew if I slowed down, I’d freeze, so I went for it. When my other hand found the handhold, I remember thinking, “Yeah!!!” It felt amazing. I had a little more climbing to do, but the hardest part was behind me.
A short time later, I was perched at the top, grinning like the kid I’d become again. I’d also learned an important lesson. Sometimes, you just have to go for it.