Don’t be misled by the title of this post: this is not about decorating in grand style. The dancers in my muddled mind last night were not beautifully crafted crown moldings in an elegant home but strange, knobby, multicolored creations randomly covering a wall of pretend stone.
Last night, as soon as I closed my eyes to seek sleep, I found myself looking at the inside of Club Sports where Mr. Mountain Man and I climbed over the Thanksgiving break. The whole landscape of the rock climbing gym was mapped out clearly in my mind. In perfect detail I could see the yellow holds of a bouldering route that had peaked my interest because it hugged the jutting corner where two walls met. Glittering with evil intent was the orange hold that foiled me despite repeated attempts to get past it on a route I should have been able to do. Despite repeated assurances from Mr. Mountain Man that it was a good hold, I let fear and momentary panic hold me back each time I had to trust my grip and left foot while moving my right to a spot just behind and below that was hard to see.
Saturday, day two of our vacation gym visits, I left disappointed because I hadn’t finished that route with the orange grip. I knew it was in me to do it but I had not done it. Lying in bed, contemplating this little failure, I was completely wakeful. Suddenly I wanted to get up and go to the gym RIGHT THEN and try again. It was midnight, an odd time for such activities, but I felt very certain that if I could just be there I would do it. I would push through without hesitation and make it to the top.
Hesitation. That’s what Mr. Mountain Man said kept me from finishing. He was right. Instead of just making the next move, which I already knew because he had shown me and I had internalized how to do it, I stopped midway to doubt. Instead of acting, I questioned what did not need to be questioned and in the process failed to achieve my goal.
This tendency to doubt, to hesitate and allow timidity to take over, thwarts success not only on the climbing wall, but in life. It is good to count the cost and to consider, but at some point one must move past the analysis stage to action. All too often I get stuck in that stage. The potential ways to fail and the imagined obstacles overwhelm me. Analysis leads to paralysis and I get nowhere. Ideas are tossed aside; opportunities are lost.
Maybe climbing will help me improve in this area. In fact I think it already has because instead of feeling dejected and tempted to throw up the enterprise as I normally would, I’m actually looking forward to climbing again as soon as possible. I’m excited to work to become stronger, more agile, and less susceptible to discouraging hypothetical events.