What this Blog is All About - Our Life
We have started a blog. Why? To share our lives with the many family and friends who don't live near us. Seems over the years everyone has scattered. (Or rather, we have scattered) Shane's Family in Idaho and Ginger's Family in Wisconsin. There are also the wide range of friends, all over the country, we have made through TurningLeaf seminars. We thought this would be a nice place to keep the world informed of our lives. (Those who dare, anyway!)
"The Only Thing We Have To Fear Is Fear Itslef....And Heights."
I took a step in overcoming one of my biggest fears over the weekend. I have been wanting to hike Angel’s Landing for quite some time, but have heard horror stories and have seen countless (ok, 2 to be exact) news stories about people slipping and falling over the edge. I have heard firsthand accounts from people who have gotten to the Scout Lookout and turned back for fear of heights. Then there are those individuals who have the balance of a cat and the courage of a lion who have made it to the top. Ginger is one of these people. I admire that.
Well, every adventure begins with the first step. So we set out to conquer the 5 mile round trip 1,500 foot incline. And what a beautiful hike it was. The Southern Utah breeze proved to be very welcome to keep our bodies cool as we made the trek. It was a sunny and the scenery was, as it always is in Zion, unspeakably picturesque. Zion is my favorite place to hike. I admit that my travels have been limited and I have yet to set foot in the Appalachians, the Alps, Yosemite, and on and on. But there is a reason why Zion attracts upwards of 3 million visitors a year from all around the world. It truly is Heaven on Earth.
The hike up was pretty tough as we worked to awaken our apathetic winter muscles and tried to keep our lungs from exploding. Once we defeated the switchbacks and got to the Scout overlook, I looked ahead and saw the first chain part of the hike. At first I thought to myself, “It doesn’t look as bad as I thought it would be.” Only .5 of a mile from the top of the cliff, I started to feel the excitement that I was going to make it to the top without a problem. Then came the act of actually climbing the rock face and holding onto the chains. We got about a tenth of a mile before my fear started taking grip. Now, here is where I would like to use the wind as an excuse for my vertigo setting in. It was a very strong breeze on an exposed rock face. However, when I saw a couple of 12 year olds making the climb, I realized that this excuse would not fly. I finally came to realize that I was going to have to admit defeat and accept that I was not going to totally overcome my fear of heights on this particular hike. So, we descended the rock and took a little apple break on the welcome flat surface of Scout Overlook.
There is a spot on the overlook that has a railing so you can walk right to the edge of the cliff and overlook without falling the deadly 1,000 feet. At this point my vertigo was so bad and my heart was racing so much that it took all I had to approach the railing. I stood for a couple of seconds and took in the unbelievable view and the ant-sized people and matchbox sized buses. Then it became a little overwhelming so I backed away and sat down on a nice level rock looking toward an uphill slope. You can’t fall uphill, right? But I kept looking back as Ginger was taking pictures over the railing and I got that queasy feeling in my gut. Then, I saw and elderly couple standing to the side of the railing and peaking over the edge. They were at a part that was totally exposed to the fall. As they approached the edge, the wife kind of stumbled and the husband grabbed her arm to help her keep her balance. I could just see them falling over the ledge. I had to turn away because now my fear was no longer for myself but for them.
Luckily, there were no falls that day. And I learned that I need to quit letting my imagination run wild and “create that scenario” as Ginger would say. I understand all of this. But I have also realized that fears are best confronted by taking baby steps. I look forward to working a little more on my fear of heights, but for now I am glad to have my feet on level ground.