Since my first trip to Scotland there had been no further effort on the climbing front. After speaking to a friend at work we decided to try an introductory course at our local climbing centre.
I have to admit it was quite anxiety provoking, going to a place full of people to try something totally new, surely I would just look stupid. Anyway session one of the course came around and I managed ok, it was hard to be in a totally new environment but it was also fun to try something new after hiding away for so long. After sessions two and three I was really starting to enjoy climbing, the focus necessary to not fall off meant all other thoughts left my mind, even if only for a brief time it was like being free.
For two weeks after our course finished I asked my friend from work if they wanted to go again but they couldn’t make it. I made at the time what seemed like a huge decision I was going to go on my own. I made a plan that I would go straight after DBT, I hoped the group would bolster my confidence and they did.
So off I went, whilst sitting on the train I was trying breathing exercises, I was freaking out already and I wasn’t even there yet. I somehow managed to walk from the station and into the centre, shaking with absolute terror I signed in and paid.
I sat on the bench trying to breathe deeply and remember how to get into the climbing harness. I bravely got up attached myself to an auto-belay and started to climb, I was still pretty rubbish at climbing at this point so there was little hope of me making it to the top of anything. Anyway I tried my best to climb and my anxiety lessened, I got about a metre off the ground on one route and looked over at a guy who told me “don’t worry you will get it”. I started chatting to him, he lent me his chalk.
And thankfully I saw him again and got his number as he is now one of my best friends, who I have shared my best adventures with.
My friend from work also came back to the centre and suddenly we had a routine of climbing twice a week, I had something to look forward to, life was less empty.
So go out into the world and try something you want to do, even if you’re terrified, sometimes good things really do happen.