Friday, October 15, 2010

Facing Your Fears... Or Those Things That Make You Question Your Sanity

Hello everyone. Here it is, another blog post. I know, I know, it has been a bit since my past post. Well I have been busy. Cranking out three tests a week, volunteering at more than one place and work just seems to fill up my entire life. So here we go.

For our Rescue class I believe I mentioned the fact that I was going to be going repelling off of a 200ft cliff face. Well I did and it was a hoot. Moving on. Ha not really here we are. We go up to an area called Blue Cloud which for those of you who don't know where that is, it is by Baxendale Fire Department on the way to Missoula. The road was bumpy and it took some off-roading to get to, plus a half mile hike up the mountain and there you are. We had a stokes basket with 300lbs worth of gear to carry up too. Needless to say we got a workout before we even hit the actual cliff face. Once we got up there two facts were quite evident. One, the view was amazing, two, the view was amazing because we were really high up. The second fact playing a lot into what I am about to write.

We set up all our stuff and got it ready so that we could repel down the cliff face. Anchoring to a tree, getting our helmets and harnesses on, and strapping in. So we went one at a time and I spent most of the day taking pictures for the programs Fire and Rescue Facebook page. I was second to go over the cliff face. So I get strapped in and after triple checking my harness and rope I start making towards the point of no return. I get there. Staring down I see our belay guy staring up at me. Two thoughts are going through my mind, man are we high up, and this really gorgeous view isn't going to mean anything if this rope snaps. Words of encouragement are shouted, prayers to the powers that be are muttered and look out below. I was scared out of my mind but I proceeded cautiously. You know that feeling of panic you get when you're doing something that causes the voice in the back of your head to shout "WHAT THE HECK HAVE YOU BEEN SMOKING!?", the same feeling you get when you look at that first downward path of a rollercoaster? Well yeah that feeling was very much present. I very cautiously started leaning myself back until my legs were perpendicular to the rock face. The only thing between me and a very fast approaching ground being the grip of my left hand on the rope. I found that as I inched further down the feeling of dread went away and as I got more comfortable The repel came quicker and more comfortable. Once I hit the ground and shouted "Belay off!" I looked up. The wall had been conquered. My sanity had been questioned. My heart was still racing.

We spent a few more hours repelling and getting over our immediate fears of height. As the day progressed so did  the wind and we decided to call it a day.

Unrelated Notes

On an unrelated note or two, my sweetie passed her first responder practicals. All she has left between her and her license is the National Registry test but as we all know she will pass with flying colors. We volunteered at the Boulder Rodeo and there were no injuries short of the minor breaks and usual dislocations.

Other than that, that's about it. So stay tuned. I'd make a mention of promises to update this more frequently but who knows when. So stay tuned. There will be updates. Sometime in the near future.

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