Rocks, Frisbees, and Certain Death

I’m on vacation in New Mexico presently with the Baptist Home. So I’m kind of working and kind of on vacation but either way I’m having fun in the mountains for free despite making sure the girls don’t kill each other.

The girls trying their best.

The girls trying their best.

I must admit having Trey here makes it a lot more enjoyable. He’s waaayyyy more active than anyone else on this trip (not to mention level-headed) so I have someone to hang out and be myself with. Well we had been looking for a hiking trail or something of the sort in town and finally found a park right close to the house we’re all staying in with places to climb that seemed suitable for our purposes. There was a long slope up with a few boulders perched on top we decided to get to the top of. Note: they looked a lot smaller from the bottom.

We started up and the girls attempted to follow. They didn’t get very far but I’m not surprised because even though they’re teenagers, they’re all really out of shape. Shoot I probably wouldn’t have been able to do what I did today 6 months ago. If you’ve ever tried climbing up a fairly steep incline (or a sand dune, shout out to my Colorado trip a couple years ago) you know what a cardio workout it can be. I would also like to note that Trey was set on throwing his frisbee off the top so he was climbing up with it in his mouth. Slightly amusing.

treeresting

We had to rest a couple times and were at one point propped up behind a tree for a while on the almost vertical ground just watching the girls try and scramble up amidst the mini rock avalanches (the slope was not stable, you really had to dig your toes in to get up). It was really peaceful. The sky was cloudy but I wouldn’t call it gloomy, just very calm and serene.

We finally got past all the loose rocks and onto bigger, sturdier rocks which made the going much easier. I was thinking it wasn’t going to be so bad making it to the top but as we got closer, the rocks we were planning on climbing while we were on the ground now looked five times their original size. This didn’t put me off actually- just made me more determined to make it all the way.

I hadn’t been nervous until we started to climb straight up on the boulders. I was shimmying myself up a crevice in the rock backwards and so saw how high up we really were and was like, “Man, if I fall it’s really going to hurt”. It got scarier from there but at the same time I loved it. You use your entire body to climb and I had to make calculated and decisive moves or I would fall so I was very aware of my body and muscles which is an awesome feeling. The next part was the worst. Trey was up ahead of me so I had to go a different direction than him. I mention this because he wasn’t near me to help if I had any issues. He did stop and wait for me to get back on solid ground though. Just in case I fell.

 

The section I had to climb was a good twenty feet high and it was very steep. Not quite vertical but my heart was racing regardless. I will say that the grips on man-made rock climbing walls are surprisingly similar to the actual cliff I was trying to climb up. I was appreciating this fact right as the rocks became very smooth and the grips all but disappeared. I couldn’t turn back though and semi-safety was only six or seven feet away so I pressed on. I had to take some risks, obviously, because there weren’t many places to grab onto and I had just lifted my body up with my arms in an attempt to get a better foot hold when I realized the one I was going for wasn’t going to work. This was definitely the second scariest moment of my life. I was dangling off the side of this giant rock and just looked at Trey who was sitting helpless ten feet away. I imagine the look I gave him was similar to the looks you see in the movies from people who are about to sacrifice themselves for someone else and then fall to their deaths. There was no way I was going to let myself fall though and so found a foothold then scrambled to a more level section of ground so I could watch Trey.

Trey's turn to climb.

Trey’s turn to climb.

 

I was probably more stressed watching him climb then when I was because, well, he’s my brother and if he fell there would be nothing I could do to catch him. I could see the path his body would take if he fell and I almost couldn’t breath. He made it up unscathed but (here comes the comedic relief, although he refers to the event as a deep depression and full of sorrow) he still had his stupid frisbee at this point and it was making it hard to climb so he tried throwing it up above him but the ground was far from level and it just slid down past him. He made a small attempt to catch it but decided he’d rather live and let it bounce down past him. And there it still lies because there was no way we were going back down for it. Poor poor frisbee all alone in New Mexico.

 

The rest of the way up was easy peasy compared to what we’d just experienced and getting to the top was worth it. There was a deep silence up there and it had started to rain which made everything very melancholy. It was beautiful. I found a rock at the top that I plan on sanding down and putting into a bracelet of some sort along with other stones and gems with significant meaning to remind me of experiences I’ve had and want to have in the future.

 

Unfortunately, we couldn’t stay up at the top for long because we were worried it would really start to storm so we made our way down as quickly as was safe (along a different path which was much longer but much less cliffy). Trey was complaining on the way down about how every time we go out hiking it starts to rain because last year in Colorado it started to storm while we were out and we had to find a cave to wait it out in. I just kept telling him it wasn’t so bad. That it was just a different experience and would have been too easy without the threat of a storm. I mention this because I realized that I actually felt that way. I’ve been trying to change my viewpoint in life into a more optimistic one and I’ve made progress! I still have a ways to go but I’m very proud of myself.

 

We made it back down to level ground and I couldn’t have been in a better mood. We were pretty stupid to have climbed up there but I’m going to say it was totally worth it.

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