Ever since I was a child, I was extremely independent. I never wanted help from anyone. I wanted to learn everything on my own and do things my way.
Today, I still find that I want to be independent and not rely on others.
I recently decided that I would start bouldering with someone close to me. Bouldering is a dangerous sport that should be done in pairs, especially for beginners.
To me, needing a partner was silly. I thought that I knew I could handle climbing once I tried it. I thought that my partner was only there to show me how the basics, but once I learned the foundations, I wouldn’t need him.
Again, that was only what I thought.
On the day of the climb, my partner and I had made our way through the woods, and we came upon a glade that reached around 20-25 feet off the ground. My partner showed me a couple basic moves, and then told me to climb first. I was a little weary about going first because I didn’t want to look stupid, but I was just learning. It would be OK to make a few mistakes.
I felt pretty confident when I started climbing the first half of the wall. Even though I didn’t have proper gear (shoes and chalk), the climb seemed pretty easy.
Suddenly, my arms became extremely tired, and I realized that I couldn’t pull myself up the rock. There were no places (or at least none that I could find) to put my feet or hands to keep going.
I started to get angry, and I began shaking. My body was about to give up on me. My mind, though, was telling me that I couldn’t give up, I could not be weak.
I looked down at my partner, and that’s when I began to really panic. He had walked away.
My partner was no longer down below, waiting to catch me if I fell.
Fear filled my head. What if I fell and was paralyzed? As the fear started to become more intense, I suddenly felt a hand grab my arm and pull me over the edge of the wall.
The only thing I could feel, after knowing I was safe, was frustration. How DARE he come and help me over the rock when I needed him to stay to catch me if I fell.
I kept telling myself I didn’t need his help up the rock. Even if I did, I was not about to admit that. I thought help was for the weak.
After I had rested up, I started to climb the second level of the rock. The same issue arose: I couldn’t get up the wall completely, and he had to save me. Again.
We decided to head home, and I had time to think about what happened. That’s when I realized something: climbing that rock wall was a representation of my life. I need people in my life to help me reach my goals.
Friends, family, coworkers or teachers, I need them. As much as I think I can do things on my own, I realize that the people God has placed in my life are here for a reason. We help each other get through life and succeed at even the small things.
Climbing the rock wall helped me discover that I can still be independent when climbing towards my goals, but receiving help during the climb isn’t a bad thing. Sometimes you just need a little tug over the wall.