On Sunday at SkyZone in Toronto my five year old learned to jump on the trampoline, jump on her knees, put her hands on the trampoline and flip over in a somersault landing on her bum. She was watching her older cousins who are both accomplished gymnasts and she began trying to copy them. The look on her face the first time she mastered it was one of wonder and of being most impressed with herself. What followed were countless repetitions until by the end of the hour she had the action completely mastered and was immensely proud of herself and her ability to do it.
When was the last time you tried something new, particularly something physical. For me, it is rarely. I am lucky to get out for a brisk walk three times a week. But this past August I tried something new and it was completely exhilarating.
As a child of 8, I learned to repel down a mountain at camp, making my legs and body parallel to the ground. That was equally terrifying and thrilling. The memory of walking backwards off the mountain with all my faith resting in a tether and a rope stays with me to this day. But that was a long time ago.
Let`s fast forward to this August in Huntsville. Three of my children, my two nieces and one of my nephews wanted to try indoor rock climbing at the Deerhurst resort. The first night they tried it, I watched them and was very impressed with their physical ability to climb. There were three runs: a relatively easy one, a fairly difficult one and an almost impossible one. The wall was approximately 20 feet high.
The children enjoyed rock climbing so much they wanted to go on the next night, and again I accompanied them. This time my brother came along and he harnessed up to try it himself. He scampered up the easy one. He then tried the fairly difficult one but could not complete it. As he was climbing I was teasing him mercilessly, as I am wont to do, and he challenged me to complete the easy climb.
If you have a younger brother like mine – my only sibling - you cannot miss an opportunity to try to prove your sibling superiority. You must rise to the challenge. So I did. I made it to the top of the easy climb as quickly as I could, and found to my surprise I really enjoyed the physical challenge of the wall. I then moved to the fairly difficult one. Working quickly and getting quite lucky I made it to the top just as the time of the session expired. My brother thus insisted we all return the next night for a third session so he could prove he could also complete the same climb I did.
Now that I am back to real life and no longer on vacation, I have on my to-do list going indoor rock climbing at least once a month. The thrill of the physical exertion coupled with the sense of accomplishment when you make it to the top is a feeling to be savoured. My daughter reminded me on Sunday that I need to get on that and get it done.