Writing Prompt: Climbing

From Poets & Writers: Climbing is an exercise that’s both exhilarating and exhausting. This week think of the highest you’ve ever climbed. It could have been a ladder to your childhood tree house or Mount Kilimanjaro. Were you climbing for fun, or out of necessity? How did it feel once you reached the top? If you feel you’ve never climbed to any significant height, would you ever want to?
I never considered myself to be afraid of heights. When it comes to roller coasters, there is no such thing as too tall. I’ve been to the top of the Empire State Building, and once in Florida, my family stayed in the twentieth floor of a hotel. I spent most of my time on the balcony.
But it’s one thing to be securely in a seat on a ride or restricted by railings. The Alpine Tower at the University of Missouri did not provide any of that security. All I got was a rope.
Yeah. I climbed that.
Yeah. I climbed that.

Of course it was a very secure rope, but ropes break! At least that is what I foolishly told myself as I made my attempts to climb.

I would always get to the same spot, the spot when I knew that if I fell and that rope did break, I could break my neck. My friend was yelling encouragement from the ground, but I clung to my log like a squirrel for a few minutes. I could feel my legs trembling with effort and with fear.

And then as with most things in life, it took a leap of faith. I had to push off of a rock and trust that I could catch the next log or trust that if I missed, the rope would catch me. The first time I failed miserably. The second time I scraped my knee and had to start over. The third time I made it.

After that, climbing wasn’t nearly as hard. It was as if I had to get past that point of no return to realize that I could keep going.


Of course once I got to the very top of the tower, I realized that the only way off was to jump and pray that the rope caught me. It did.

After two leaps of faith in within the span of an hour, I was ready to be back on solid ground.


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