Rock Climbing Finance Blogger
As I wrapped up my final day at the LA Travel & Adventure Show 2011, I was a little unsettled. The downpour drastically reduced the crowd. The pace was slower and not as hectic. Visiting booths was not as stressful so you would think, smooth sailing. Since this was a travel & adventure show, things would not be complete unless I went on an adventure. Right? I felt I needed to tackle at least one of the three outdoor activities (ziplining, scuba, or rock climbing).
I’ve already ziplined in Costa Rica so I moved on to the next two. I was game for scuba, but the Mrs. didn’t want me dripping wet for the rest of the day. Maybe next year. 🙂 That left one obstacle left, the rock climbing wall.
As my wife and I walked by, the wall was higher than I thought. I had second thoughts. “What if I cramp up? What if I slip? What if I fall?” Before I let those inner questions get the best of me, I was being strapped into gear. A rugged belt went around my waist while two connecting loops secured my thighs. The instructor connected the safety line (similar to a bungee cord) to my belt. I asked if there was an easy, medium, and hard part of the wall. I was thinking I should go easy because it was my first time.
Just before me, a young kid was frozen, petrified on the easy section. That gave me the impression that easy was challenging enough. It didn’t help that a young teenage girl zoomed up the medium part of the wall. It was just my luck that the instructor put me on the hard section, probably because I’m an adult. I whispered for some last second advice. He did tell me that some of the grips were upside down, meaning rather than hang normally with my fingers, I would have to hang with my fingers with my palm facing up. Good to know.
I channeled my inner Ethan Hunt from Mission Impossible. The beginning was easier than I thought. I worried that my arms would burn out, but I could safely recover and buy time every step of the way. I focused on the wall and barely looked down below. Fifteen feet up, about half way, I got stuck. I couldn’t find my next move. I tried both my left and right hands. I stretched my legs around a bit, too. I was in no man’s land! I thought for a moment, come back down, you’re done.
I thought of my wife down below snapping pictures. I thought of the little kids giggling. I thought of all the other bystanders. Pride kicked in. Don’t give up, Buck! I somehow found my next move and moved upward. I inched closer to the top and finally pressed the alarm to signal I was done. A quick little burst didn’t do my feat justice. On second thought, I held the button again and let it buzz for a few more precious seconds. I came. I saw. I was momentarily stumped. I refocused. I conquered. These are the moments that make you feel alive.
As I repelled from the top, I patted myself on the back for not giving up. I will use this moment to remind myself not to give up on my blog. I may run into an area where I don’t know my next move. But if I stay calm and keep trying different grips and positions, I will get to the top. In a similar vein, if you are dealing with a challenging financial situation like a mountain of debt, don’t give up. Stay calm, refocus, make sure no stone is left unturned, and one day, you will again be debt free.
How do you deal when you are in your no man’s land?
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