Today’s course was a well-designed vertical trail of small orange rocks. It began simply with a few steps upward, my hands moved first, followed by my feet. I had been eyeing it all month.

Unfortunately, the trail ended with a big jump to the final rock. My confidence, when it comes to rock climbing, is pretty low. Rock climbing is new to me. But, with Michael cheering me on and the excitement that ran through me, I kept climbing (and falling).

Michael and I picked up a new hobby this month. Rock climbing! Bouldering to be exact. Bouldering is a type of rock climbing where you scale along color-coordinated paths that are low enough to the ground that you don’t need a harness but high enough in the sky that it is scary to fall from the top.

We went once or twice a week during October. Each week I learned new techniques, met new people, and faced new challenges. Today, I took on the orange course I had my eyes on since week one. I tried it once at the end of the last session but with tired arms, I quickly failed.

The first time I tried I fell. I was met with the same fate on the next ten attempts. Despite this, Michael never stopped cheering me on, and I never stopped enjoying myself. feeling fatigued, I took a break and watched Michael climb for a while.

With a new burst of energy, I went back to my orange path, and I did it! I made it to the top. What a great feeling! I get excited just thinking about it! I did it!

Sometimes I forget how good it feels to defeat an arduous task. How motivated I can feel after falling again and again and how confident I feel when I finally don’t fall.

I thought about this a lot on my drive home. It was late when we drove home and I am not a stay-up-late kind of girl. I was exhausted from climbing. Yet, I felt amazing. I am going to continue to challenge myself, I promised. I can and will always be capable of doing new and hard things.

With love,

Kristen Mary Carolan

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