02 March 2009

The day I climbed the wall.......

I'd done a few climbs, almost reaching half way. My arms were aching already and the rush of actually being there was still running through my veins. We moved onto one of the easier sections of wall, The Soul Sistah determined for me to reach the top.

I started slower, taking my time, I passed the half way mark and marveled at the psychological challenge this presented. Just as I negotiated the next section, feeling more confident that I could do it, the Soul Sistah called up, "maybe you should come down real slow."

I had visions of my gargantuan girth straining the support rings, dust falling downward as they were ripped from their rivets. I was going to fall, all my fears were going to be realised, I was too fat for this. I asked a little shakily "Why? Why should I come down?"

The Soul Sistah could see the worry in my eyes, even from that height, and casually and calmly remarked "Well the rope's just a little twisted and maybe you should come down and we can start again."

The relief was instant "I'm not too fat for climbing, I'm not going to break the wall, the footholds, aren't going to crumble under my weight, it's all OK". I let the rope lead me down, down, down to the padded floor below.

Looking up at the wall again, I felt overwhelmed, I can't do this, it's so high, and my arms have lost their will. Maybe I should just try to get to the top next time. The Soul Sistah smiled and said "you're going to get to the top, you can so do this."

I started again, feeling a lump in my throat as I grabbed onto the holds and hoisted myself up the first few sections of the climb. I got to half way, feeling unsure, unsteady, weak. I paused, saying to myself "you can do this, you CAN do this."

On I went, reaching the last hold and gripping over the top of the wall. The lump in my throat broke and I felt tears form in my eyes. I looked down at The Soul Sister as she grinned up at me, giving me the thumbs up.

Down, down, down back to the floor below. I'd done it. I felt all this emotion well up inside as I realised what I'd done. I'd got to the top of the wall. I'd gone rock climbing, something I'd wanted to do for years, something I'd put off because I felt excluded, too fat, not allowed.

I'd gone against every fiber of my cynical self, walked into that air hanger like space, pulled on that harness (that fit!), clipped myself in and changed something inside of myself forever. I can do this, I can do whatever I want. I don't have to fit into a certain dress size, be a certain number on the scale, I can just be me, living my life right now.

"You can never conquer the mountain. You can only conquer yourself"
James Whittaker


  1. You sure can! and we will again on Friday!!!
    So proud of you! Who knows what adventures will be install now!!
    Love you sis. Thanks for the inspiration (as always!!)

  2. Yay Bernstar yay!! Can't believe you were so afraid of it and you didn't tell me before. I mean, I can understand being afraid of falling and breaking your neck, but being too big to climb?! I'm so glad that you've realised that letting your weight worries hold you back is nuts: you can do anything, Lovely Girl, absolutely anything. Asia xxxxxxxxx

  3. go YOU!!!

    such an inspiring post and made even more so since Ive faced that wall.

    literally and metaphorically.

  4. you are soooo fantastic i love you from the mama