Oh the exhilaration of being alive…of pushing your body, of discovering new and exciting ways of using and loving your body. Experiencing the scintillating feelings of what this world has to offer you. Last night I went rock climbing just north of Calumet. There’s a place called Cliff Drive that is lined with, well, cliffs. Cliffs just ACHING to experience the feeling of fingertips grasping hold of the small outcroppings and cracks located along the cliff faces. How can I describe the how it feels to you in ways you can fathom how glorious it is?
The climb starts a little off-kilter. On an unknown cliff face, your fingers and toes search out the sweet spots, the best holds. You don’t know these rocks, and it is best to start out slowly, getting to know them. You may scramble to find good spots for holding. As you climb on, you gain confidence and momentum. You reach a point where your reverence and respect and slight wariness of a wrong step on this miracle of nature twines around your joy and appreciation of your body’s abilities, and you slide into a sweet rhythm. This rhythm supplies adrenaline, a determination to reach the top, and a surreal realization that you are going where few have gone before. Your right hand finds a good, solid hold. You look up and around, feeling with your fingertips for a solid left-hand hold. Nothing seems quite right, so you search a little more until you find what you’ve been looking for. Your feet follow, finding their own purchases upon the rock. Upwards you go, clipping into bolts placed along the treacherous crevice. As you reach a small ledge, you turn around and lose your breath as you drink in the scene sweeping before your eyes- trees spread out all along the landscape, hilltops and valleys converge over many miles. The road threads its way down below, and cars, so far down below, take their tiny-looking passengers to their destinations.
The climb continues this way until you reach the top, whereupon your exhilaration fills you with a kind of high that you can only find through activities where your body allows you to achieve unbelievable things.