Hiking, Layouts, Me, Scrapbooking

A Tale of Fail

This is a layout I made last summer for Computer Tricks for Scrapbooking 3, raving about wanting to really tackle my fear of heights. This winter I decided that since I had reached the point where I could walk along a cliff or hang around at the top of the rock wall in the gym, I was ready to take a mountaineering class. Hah.

Last weekend our class went to Spire Rock, an outside rock climbing wall about an hour south of Seattle, and it became painfully obvious that I wasn’t ready after all. As it turns out, climbing on smooth, worn, mossy rock outside while wearing stiff mountaineering boots is 374 (approximately) times as terrifying as climbing inside with rock shoes that will stick to anything and huge, luxurious hand holds. When it was time to try rappelling, I couldn’t even take the first step off the “cliff”. I just had this vision in my head that my foot would slip and I would bang into the wall.

I spent all week trying to prepare (both mentally and physically) for our next outing to Spire. The first thing I did when we got there was get up on that rock, set up my rappel, take the first step…and then slip and bang straight into the rock. I rappelled down (rappelling itself is fun; it’s just that nothing in my mind or body wants to take that first step) and got right back on the horse…and slipped again, really banging into the rock again (my knee is still swollen, magnificently multi-colored and painful as all hell when I bend it, whine whine whine).

The rock was ridiculously slick from being marinated in a couple of days of rain, so people kept slipping and sliding and flipping over all day, but it was over for me. I can’t join the class for the climbs if I am that uncomfortable on rock. Lame.

I’m trying very hard not to dwell on the fact that I failed at something yet again, and that it is ok that I’m scared of heights. It’s not something that absolutely needs to be fixed, and there is a lifetime of non-sphincter tightening hiking to be had in Washington. But as much as the heights bother me, I think what really screwed things up for me this time was trying to learn this stuff in a large group of people where I felt like I could never measure up. And that’s really not good.

Number one lesson learned from the class – I have the self-esteem of a (really really insecure) gnat. And I don’t know where to even begin to fix it.

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  • Reply Libby April 14, 2009 at 12:53 pm

    Hi Ingunn,

    Firstly LOVE the layout (as always). I think you’re so brave to even attempt outdoor rock climbing – I’ve not even tried indoor yet (too scared of making a fool of myself). If you’re really keen to do this is there anyway you could organise a private lesson – or even in a small group. I too would not cope well doing something like that is a large group. Don’t think of it as having failed – you gave it a go and tried your best and didn’t succeed – that’s not failing – some things we just aren’t meant to do. But failing would be refusing to even try. I assume hubby is doing the course. Maybe when he’s more experienced he’ll be able to help you get confidence with the basics.


  • Reply nina April 14, 2009 at 1:01 pm

    I’ve never left a comment on your blog before but I’ve thoroughly enjoyed your stunning photography since I came across your blog last year. I also love your scrapbooking style – so simple and elegant, it really sets off your photos well. I look forward to all of your blog entries, and have certainly taken inspiration for my own scrapbooking!
    I also wanted to say that I admire your courage in tackling something that is difficult for you. It takes a lot of guts to not only take the class but to blog about it for all to see!
    Looking forward to more of your family’s adventures (you should come to Vancouver BC, we have beautiful hiking here too!),

  • Reply Kelsie April 14, 2009 at 1:47 pm

    Be proud of yourself for trying. It IS okay that you are afraid of heights, and I can tell you, you are not alone. I remember seeing the pictures you used in this layout when you posted on Flickr. I believe I commented, telling you I was impressed and to be proud of yourself! That ridge looked scary. But you did it. And, if you keep pushing yourself you will keep trying. And if you keep trying you will succeed.

  • Reply Joscie April 14, 2009 at 5:25 pm

    You are still my hiking/mountain climbing hero! I think you’re awesome and inspiring, don’t be too hard on yourself!

  • Reply Jaimie Mulheron April 14, 2009 at 6:23 pm

    Are you kidding me?! You ROCK! ;0) In my dreams I am as cool as you, as talented as you, as adventurous as you and post as often as you (lately, lol).

    If everything came easily how could we look back and be amazed by how far we have come?

  • Reply Suzanne April 14, 2009 at 7:43 pm

    Ingunn, I told you before how TOTALLY impressed by what you’re doing. And I mean it! Man, I’d be wearing that battered knee etc with pride. Don’t forget I broke a toe (and put a premature end to a nice holiday) while FISHING, for crying out loud.

    Hold your head up high, girl! Keep climbing those mountains and making me envious of your scenery AND your accomplishments!! (Don’t forget … I knew you when … !)

  • Reply Solgunn April 15, 2009 at 6:56 am

    Trøst deg meg at du ikke vil trenge å kunne klatre for å gå til Mount Everest Base Camp… Og du… taklet ikke du 3000 meter veldig godt? Synes å huske gutta du gikk med slet mer med høyden enn du. Du har dem der vet du :)

  • Reply Maren April 16, 2009 at 5:47 am

    Hei Ingunn! Jeg har lagt en liten hilsen til eg i bloggen min! NYDELIG layout, som alltid!

  • Reply Tracy April 19, 2009 at 9:49 am

    So let’s see – you are an amazing scrapbooker/artist, you take beautiful photographs, you hike and do all sorts of interesting things – don’t let this one thing get you down! :) :)

  • Reply nicole s April 23, 2009 at 7:06 pm

    Wow and WOW – your layout is SO gorgeous!!! Don’t be insecure – most people would never attempt what you do. Crazily amazing!!! LOVE your blog!

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