wavy pattern

don’t look down

I'm OK in a plane (just about), and I'm actually OK when I'm in a zip wire and I know the floor isn't that far away.

- Posted byHannah Miller

I really don’t like heights.

I’m OK in a plane (just about), and I’m actually OK when I’m in a zip wire and I know the floor isn’t that far away. But bridges, I’m really not so good with those, or steep cliff edges that I might all off. Or the Shard lift (that’s a story for another day).

But I have three teenage (well, one tween and two teen) boys. Who are thrill seekers with no fear whatsoever it seems.

On our recent holiday (because of which we are now taking our punishment of quarantine) we went to a high ropes course like no other I have ever experienced. Five and a half hours later we were still climbing and zip-wiring.

The boys wanted to do the really hard routes – levels 9 and 10. I had hardly any reserves, but really wanted to keep up. We started with 10 because we’d heard 9 was harder. I used every last ounce of my physical and emotional strength to complete it. A 250 metre zip wire from some rather precarious ledges.

What a relief and a sense of accomplishment I felt.

Off we went to do the nice and easy level 10.

But it turns out it wasn’t so easy after all. I only realised this halfway round, with no real way down except through. I had to (amongst other things) scale the side of a bridge, climb over it, and then zip wire down from it.

Here’s the bridge.

The thing was, I had nothing left this point. It’s funny how that happens, isn’t it? I was so close but yet so far. My knees were knocking, my eyes were watering (and looking down way too often) and my mouth was saying to Sam (irritatingly totally fearless husband), “I just can’t do anymore, I can’t do it.” My hands were sweaty and clinging on for dear life and my body was tired. I was just plain frightened.

He got me round the rest of that course. He talked me through each step, what I would do next, and encouraged me. He looked me in the eyes and told me I could do it. I had zero self belief and I am honestly not exaggerating. I did it. Tears of sheer relief rolled down my sweaty face. Did I mention it was 35 degree heat?

Here’s what I learned that day:

  • We can do more than we realise
  • We need others to help us see this
  • A bit of stress is good, but not too much (this was possibly too much)
  • Growth comes from discomfort
  • The last stretch is always the hardest, even if you’re so close*
  • Remember previous victories to help you push through
  • Know your limits – then push them *just a little bit*
  • It’s never (well, not usually) as bad as you think

 

*if you’ve had a baby through natural labour you’ll know just what I mean here

Later in the week the boys jumped off an 18m cliff into a river lake. Did I join them? I did not. Like I said, know your limits, push them a little bit, but not too much. If you go too far, you’ll end up taking a backwards step.

Maybe next year 😉

Yours fearlessly,

Hannah x

 

 

P.S. Here’s video footage of the diving (not me, the kids)
P.P.S. I ached all over for days. I also felt proud for days.