twenty years from now

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.

So throw off the bowlines.

Sail away from the safe harbor.

Catch the trade winds in your sails.

Explore.

Dream.

~Mark Twain

Or in my words.

Rappel off of very tall cliffs while you can.

Care to join me? : )

This place, known to me as Rams Head /Welcome to Beauty,  is one that has changed my life and the way that I look at things forever. Last summer I came face to face with an enormous fear.  The thoughts of rappelling off of the highest cliff in the New River Gorge made me sick to my stomach.  Standing at the edge looking over was terrorizing to say the least, and if that wasn’t enough my instructor made me set the rig up that we would rappel off of. So not only was my life in the balance, but my dear friends life was too. As I was tying the ropes trying to remember the correct way, I could feel the lunch that I had just eaten trying to make its way back to the surface. I choked down the fear and the veggie sub and continued to fix the ropes.

After our instructor checked my rig and gave it the thumbs up, Fred, my good buddy, said that he would go first.  He did. Reluctantly. His descend off of the cliff face was terrifying to me as I knew as soon as he was down my turn would be next. He reached the bottom with only six feet of rope to spare – talk about cutting it close. : | It would now be my turn.

I grabbed my gloves and helmet and tied my figure eight and waited for the instructor to say go. That time came sooner than I thought. As I stood with my toes on the edge of the cliff I can remember looking down between my legs- I couldn’t see the bottom.  The first few steps were the hardest for the pressure against the cliff was strong and stayed that way until I reached the overhang. At that point I was dangling in mid air just like a spider on a web. It was one of the most liberating feelings that I have ever felt in my entire life. I looked out over the Gorge and took in the view from that unique vantage point. I can remember seeing the lush trees and winding river below and thinking this is pretty darn cool. For that moment I felt as though I had really lived and I’m looking forward to my return rappel from the place known as Beauty.

So twenty years from now I’ll be looking at these photographs and saying…..

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~ by Teresa Stover on 03/09/2010.

4 Responses to “twenty years from now”

  1. Profound Teresa (-:

  2. Love this entry dear friend. My trust in your rigging then, and still is, complete. I’d never climb or rappel without you along to make sure things are done right. But what a thrill that day was…it was fun terror. :-) I was terrified too…very much so.

  3. Thank you, my friend. It was a day of fun terror. :)

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