"Promise me you'll always remember: You're braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think." A.A. Milne

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Exceeding My Limitations: My Birthday Present To Myself

This year my birthday present is a family lesson and a day of climbing at the local indoor climbing gym. This isn't a surprise to anyone who knows me. I have wanted to do this for some time now. It is a logical adventure for us to embark on at this point. However, it recently became even more important to me.

This past summer I developed vertigo. After a rather large scare and a slew of medical tests, it seems to be the type some women simply develop in their 40's. At first it really affected my life. It was hard to get around and it hit hard. Time has eased the worst of the symptoms and attacks but it has become a permanent resident of my life. It is mine to learn from and deal with each day. Yoga was difficult until I learned to just stop, focus, and let it past. Although it will sometimes still bring me to my knees, over all it isn't too much of a burden.

Until Thanksgiving Weekend at the Trout Lodge.

We love getting away for that weekend and jumping head long into outdoor adventures. We hike, explore, and generally ramble. My daughter went on her first two solo trail rides. She was so proud to sit up there holding the reins of our horse. She was, as she terms it, just so nervacited. I love that girl.

Actually, it was a long weekend of firsts. Logan tried archery for the first time. I tried it for the first time since middle school and discovered I am pretty damn good at it. So that's a new passion to explore. It was also our first time at climbing Pines Beak. It is a 35 foot climbing wall. Both the kids and John did amazingly well. I am mesmerized by the spirit of adventure my children embody. Seriously, it is wonderful to behold their courage and taste to try new things. Well, except food. My husband is a beautiful beast of a man, so no surprise there.

My story was different. I jumped into it ready to go. It is so hard but I was determined. But sometimes determination just isn't enough in a given situation. I barely made it two-thirds of the way up when my new nemesis struck me. Vertigo hit. The world spun while I was over 20 feet in the air. I immediately rappelled down. I was very disappointed first in myself and second in the new normal of my life. It pretty much sucked.

I have thought long and hard in that moment when I gave up. I know now I could have done a few things to hold it at bay or allow it to ease off again. I could have just stayed immobile right there and gave it time to pass. The truth is there was a line waiting to go and I did not feel I had the freedom to employ this. Well, I didn't really think. I reacted. Also, it was really a one try thing. One bite of the apple and then you are done. My limitations defeated me....for that moment.

Because you see, I am not going to be defeated. I am not going to allow vertigo to define my life. It will not decide my limitations. I am going to decide that for myself. I am going to do this again. I have designed a situation set up to help me succeed. We will have a two hour class. I will tell the instructor straight away my challenge so that person will know I may just need to hang out for a few minutes. I will have all day to try and try again. I want to do it once. I want my children to see me doing my level best to overcome this issue. Maybe I will do it again. Maybe I won't. That doesn't really matter. What matters is I have the determination, the focus, and the grit to give my all to reach this goal. Even if I don't, I will know I gave it may all. Isn't that what truly matters in the end?

Exceed your limitations my friends. Do not allow them to define you. Define yourself each and every day.

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