Climbing with a Little Rain
My left hand strains in a long horizontal crack as my right hand reaches over the jutting overhang for a grip. I find one, a crimp hold, I could have wished for better, but it is all I have. I can feel my strength leaving me and know I need to make my move soon. I tell my feet to stick to their holds and push my body up, releasing my left hand from its crack to reach for the next grip. My feet slip as my fingers give out and my body falls. Its day 5 of climbing specialization and the team is taking turns attempting to conquer a 5.8 overhang climb called “A Room with a View.” Most of the team has been unable to successfully scale it and after an hour of failed attempts and dozens of falls, my strength is all but spent. I end my day taking of my climbing shoes off in defeat and disappointment. As I look back I remember that climb and I realize that there was a blessing in my failure and a true victory in my defeat which I didn’t see at the time. I have learned one of the most definite and rewarding things about the Explore program is it is hard and the likelihood of failing at something , or in this case falling, is very real. Since that particular defeat, I have been climbing more in my free time than I had been previous. I started spending time practicing holds and strengthening my fingers. In that moment when I realized in my present condition I wasn’t strong or skilled enough to make that climb I felt bitter. As I began dissecting the situation I realized that those who succeed or are adequate to a task often don’t have near the drive as those who have failed and have to work hard to improve to the point of being able to succeed. A certainty about Explore, and the rest of life, is that everybody, at some point, will fail and a little rain will fall. In this analogy we are a lot like plants in that sometimes the rains of failure are just what is needed for growth. -Lance Parrot
Lance is a first year student who enjoys rock climbing and has been practicing on the wall while up here at Prairie.