Surprise, surprise but I have another Miraval story for you. This is about the Desert Tightrope challenge. The Desert Tightrope Challenge is a cable stretched between 2 poles 35 feet up in the air with a series of ropes hanging down that are both varying lengths and widths apart hanging from a cable 15-20 feet above. The challenge is to get from point A to point B using the hanging ropes for balance without falling off. Seems simple enough right?
Okay so add the fact that I learned how to be VERY afraid of heights at a young age when a rope swing I was on broke while I was swinging out over the forest floor about 20 feet below. It was a miracle that I was not hurt - nothing was broken, I came away with only a few scratches and a VERY stiff and sore body. I think I was about 10 years old.
Fast forward to the challenge course......
You may be asking why on Earth I would choose to do a challenge that was so scary for me and the only answer I have is that I do not want to let my fear control me. I want to be able to control my fear because when all is said and done my fear (or lack there of) is the story I tell myself about a situation. This became abundantly clear to me towards the end of the challenge but I'm getting ahead of myself.
Our challenge facilitator Conner asked each of us as we were about to head up what we wanted to focus on, let go of or what our intention was for the challenge. Mine was to A) Trust - trust myself, trust God and most importantly trust the ropes and B) Let go of the false belief that I held at some level that I was incapable.
The whole time I was looking up (& up!) at the tightrope the story started to unroll and I felt all of my fear tell me how very scared I was and how high it was and how terrifying it seemed. My breathing came faster, my heart began to pound a little harder and I started to doubt the wisdom of doing this challenge. All this told me that I was doing exactly what I needed to do to break the bonds that held me fast.
In the picture to the left I am just starting my climb and in the picture to the right I am 35 feet up doing my best to let go and start my tightrope experience. Did I mention that I'm 35 feet up in the air? Letting go of that nice safe pole took a little doing.
I was able to let go and step out and begin my way across the tightrope to the other side. I'm not sure if you will be able to identify with this next bit but here goes....
The positive 'you can do it!' voice literally was coaching me out loud. I told myself that I was safe, to engage my abs, to relax and just breathe into it - all positive and accurate stuff.
Well all the while what I'll call the 'Siren Song' was telling me that there's no shame in NOT making it across - it's be SOOOO much easier to just let go sit back and get lowered to the safety of the ground. After all my heart was about to pound out of my chest, my mouth was bone dry, I felt like I was going to throw up and all my muscles were beyond burning from how tightly I was hanging onto the support ropes. At one point I almost lost my balance but was able to stay up there. Did I mention that the wind was blowing so I had to time the grab for the next support rope?
A truly amazing thing happened when I knew that I was only one rope away from the finish. Keep in mind the ENTIRE way across I'd been inching myself along sideways one hard fought inch at a time. Well like I said when I knew that I was only one rope away from victory I literally turned my body towards the pole and WALKED forward foot over foot and slapped the pole like it was no big deal.
When the epiphany hit me I swear it physically hurt. I could have strolled across that tightrope foot over foot the entire way. Nothing had changed EXCEPT the reality that I had created in my head.
The next epiphany that hit was that my whole entire life is just one big story that I myself create. The experience of the tightrope was such a perfect reflection of my life. How often do you do what I do and make things WAY harder than they need to be? What stories do you tell yourself that are entirely true that the opposite could be equally true? What if we are the one's who control how easy or difficult our life is? What story would YOU tell if you knew that you could write a true story about Love, Joy, Happiness, Health and Abundance?
I don't know about you but I'm game to find out. I challenge you to go out and write a true story for your life that is what dreams are made of.
Here's to You in Health, Wellness and Fitness,
Jennifer Malocha CEO of Fun at Wuhoo Fitness
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