Day 36: A Different Kind of ‘Rock’

Yes indeed, as in actual rock. Well, not so much actual rock as fake plastic rocks stuck to a wall. Look what I’m trying to say is, I went rock climbing yesterday. There, it’s out. Quit tripping over your own tongue would you? Sheesh.

I was all up for this as a new thing and keen as a bean…until the point where I got in there and realised that I was about to be airborne. I’m the wuss who refuses to go on rollercoasters and the cool rides because I’m too scared. Hoisting myself up the side of a 30ft wall suddenly seemed like…not something to do. But I did it and honestly, it was fine. It’s like my client always says to me at work, “it’s just the fear of the unknown”. Once you’re up there you realise how secure you really are.

I don’t think I’ve ever had an actual fear of heights. I periodically get what I’m sure is a mild case of undiagnosed vertigo when I am planted firmly on the ground, but I’m totally fine with heights and being on top of high places. My fear is the fear of falling. Not only the irrational fear of being hurled out of my seat/ride/contraption/balcony and falling to my death, but also the sensation of falling itself. I hate it, hate the way it feels, like you’re plunging to your doom with absolutely nothing holding you in. Falling backwards is even worse. That is why I can’t stomach rides – anything that involves a steep drop, anything that makes you feel like you’re free falling…no thanks.

But even that fear is slowly eroding as I get older. I can go on some rides now, whereas before I’d chicken out completely. I went on everything at Wet ‘N’ Wild, even the 360 which involves being dropped through a trapdoor and free falling for several metres. I loved it! I can rock climb without bother. I’m going to climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge sometime this year. And I’m super interested in that indoor skydiving dealio. Come at me, scary things! I’m glad I’m shedding my wussiness. I’ve always felt like such a dork being frightened of rides that eight year old kids don’t sweat.

That’s not to say that my first foray into rock climbing was a raging success, but it wasn’t so much because I was scared but because I am tremendously unfit. I was under the impression that after the last couple years of playing AFL and swinging my heavy vigoro bat I had developed some muscles in my arms. But apparently not enough. Climbing beats the crap out of you. Plus I guess my general level of fitness since I broke my leg has been horrifically, all-time bad. I need to get my fitness back or I’ll never be able to play footy.

As for Day 35…to cleanse my soul of the frustration of Gone Girl I have retreated back into the comforting arms of non-fiction, and this time I’m reading something I’m sure I’ll like: God, Country and Coca-Cola: The Unauthorized History of the World’s Most Popular Soft Drink. What a hell of a thing. It combines so many of my loves into one book: Coke, history, a complete lack of brevity (this thing is huge), American Exceptionalism, and unabashed egotism. I mean, I could have written this book! I’ve already discovered why they always put “The” in front of “Coca-Cola Company” even when it’s grammatically awkward. So yes, I’m loving it.

Stay tuned, the next episode promises to include another attempt at lesbianism. Wish me luck.

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