18 April 2016


"You are fearless," my mountaineering instructor said, as I leaned back off the edge of a rock to do my final safety check.

"Everyone has fears," I said. "I feel funny in my stomach when I stand at the edge of heights." (Facing backward is apparently fine.)

"So do I," he said. "But it doesn't stop you."

One other student and I were so excited about rappelling the forty feet off the rock that we did it three times. Everyone else did it twice, but we were first, and then we were standing at the bottom looking up longingly as the others finished up, so they let us do it again.

"You are a pro," my instructor's fiancee said, down at the bottom, as I finished my rappel, leaned fully back like I was sitting in a chair. 

"It's so much fun!" I said.

I was trying to explain it to someone the other day: I can't do sports that require much in the way of hand-eye coordination, which rules out most team sports. But give me a sport that requires fearlessness and a willingness to work hard, and I'm in. (See martial arts. See also mountaineering.)

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