On Belay

I just got back from hiking in Zion. It was an amazing, beautiful, cold, painful, wonderful, tiring experience! I got a last minute call from my daughter saying they had an extra permit so they invited me to join them. Your MoM is always up for an adventure, so this sounded like a perfect opportunity. One of the things that I would be experiencing for the first time was rappelling. Some of the people in my family were worried about an old guy going out and taking on such danger, but I knew that my daughter had no intentions of killing me, so I ran toward the challenge.

My first opportunity came after about two miles of hiking. Our leader fixed the ropes into the proper equipment in the rock and gave me a quick lesson in what to do. My son-in-law went down first and held the rope to help guide people down the rock face. I had seen people do this before so I had a general idea of the procedure. I locked everything in and announced “On rope”. Weston was “On belay”, which was to say that he was ready to guide me through the process and keep the ropes from running afoul of themselves. Things worked perfectly until the very end. Both he and I got comfortable with my ability and then we got complacent.  I worked my way down the face and only needed to let out enough rope to jump down to the ground. I also needed to move to my right where the rock made contact with the ground. Instead I kept moving down in a fairly straight path. The problem was that the rock curved up and away from the ground where I was headed. There was a 2-3 foot pocket of space and I went straight into it. Thankfully, I missed smacking my face on the wall, unfortunately, I did land flat on my back which knocked the wind out of me. (You can watch a quick video on the @MessItUpPodcast account on Instagram.) In recovery I need to remain diligent. When I am on belay, I need to stay on belay. In the relationship[ between sponsor and “sponsee” neither side can relax or problems can arise. Even when we are hiking downhill, together we can…

–Rise Up!!

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