I believe we can be anyone

To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best to make you like everybody else is to fight the hardest battle you can fight--but never stop fighting! E.E. Cummings

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Chapter 3: Hanging on the Edge of My World...

As my name was called, I walked towards the place where I would be putting on more equipment to rappel down.  There were three lines going down the building.  I was happy when I ended up being on the line with the two owners of Crux (who I had spoken with briefly at the training).  It felt comforting and serendipitous to see familiar faces.
I was strapped into more equipment.  All I could do was listen intently to their every word.  But believe me, I was getting nervous at this point.
Getting strapped in and getting ready to go down.  Soon!

Below are the two of the owners of Crux Climbing.

I was told to step up and stand on the edge of the building.  All I could do was listen to their instructions.  It’s really the oddest thing, stepping on the edge of the roof of a building like that.  Not something a “normal” person does every day! 
Standing on the edge of the unknown.

They asked if I wanted to look down.  I said no, but then peeked over at some point for a couple of seconds. You see, I was extremely scared of heights.  Why would I look down??  Curiosity got the best of me though and I couldn’t resist.

They told me to lean back but I guess I froze. I was looking right into one of the owner’s eyes when he said “You remember why you’re doing this, right Martina?”  I started to cry. 

Later at the reception, he told me “Oh shit, what did I say?”  He thought that it was perhaps not the right thing to say.  I thanked him because it was exactly what I needed to hear in that moment to spur me on.  Funny how everyone has their own perception of what they think has happened.

There is something symbolic about that moment for me, standing on the edge of that building.  Being in a place of:  "Okay.  Here I am."  Trusting, letting go and knowing, somehow, that I would be safe and that things will turn out the way they are supposed to.  And yet, there is a possibility that something could happen and this could be it.  Such is life.  How do we choose to live it?  In fear?  Or, with wild abandon and love?

This has come up more than once in my life.  Here it was again.  This time on top of a 30 storey building.  It’s all about how I do life.

 Standing on the "edge of my world."
Somehow, something shifted and I slowly started to lean back, thanks to the owners' coaching.
I was determined to NOT let my feet leave the building whatsoever because I didn’t want to be just dangling 30 stories up!  I couldn’t look down.  All I could do was focus in front of me and on what I was doing.  I continued to listen intently to their coaching as long as I could continue to hear them to help get me through the first challenging 10 stories ..... TO BE CONTINUED.

Friday, December 07, 2012

Chapter 2: Getting Strung Up and Strung Out

It was around noon on September 6th when I started to feel a mix of nervousness and excitement. I had no time to go out and buy a costume (as we could choose to dress up as Superheros and Superheroines) and so, I "threw" together a costume from stuff at home.  Again it worked out perfectly.

I rode over to the Sunlife Towers on my bike and locked it up.  I stood there, looking up at the 30 storey building. I started to feel emotional because I knew this was NOW IT! I was truly doing this in less than two hours.  I found out my time was delayed by 45 minutes.  But, for some reason, I was okay with that. I signed in and went to get my "Before:  Here I am!" photo taken.

This is the first shot taken before going to the back room.

Then, I went to the back room to settle in.  With me in my bag, I had a bottle of "Rescue Remedy".  A yoga instructor recommended this supplement as it helps to calm the nerves.  Of course, I bought some because I felt it couldn't hurt and it would support me to feel calm. I was spraying my tongue like a mad woman, every couple of minutes or so.  I thought: "Wow!  This stuff seems to be working!"  (Of course, I didn't realize the product contained alcohol!")  Obviously I didn't bother to read the label properly!

 I was nervous along with some of the other “Dropzoners” in the back room. There was a guy dressed like a Ninja Turtle and he was surprisingly calm so it helped to keep me calm. We were talking and I was feverishly continuing to spray myself with the "Rescue Remedy."  All of a sudden, the bottle slipped out of my hand and smashed onto the floor.  I didn't realize it was glass and I lost the remaining contents which was pretty much ALL of it. 

I panicked as I looked at the floor and realized I had nothing to "rescue" me any longer.  If I could have somehow scooped it into a cup and drank it, I would have.  But, I decided that:  a) it wasn't hygenic and simply not possible to do this, and b) it was some kind of sign.  It was a sure sign that the Universe was telling me I no longer needed to be "rescued."  I needed to let "Rescue Remedy" go with as much grace as I could.  As it turned out, I wasn't able to bring anything with me to the rooftop, not even so much as a tissue to blow my nose.
The volunteers called our names and then proceeded to harness us for the upcoming climb.  The volunteers and employees from Crux Climbing Center were helping out since 6 AM in the morning.  It's already been a long day but they are certainly troopers!  We were geared up and ready to go and it was only a matter of time before we headed towards the elevator.

 Finally, we were told it was time to go and we were now being led to the elevator.  Suddenly, everyone got quiet. I made a comment to the effect of "Everyone's so quiet," and still, no one said anything. People were definitely in their “Zone”. We rode up the elevator in silence and as we walked out, we made our way to more stairs which led up toward the roof.  I could finally see the sky from the stairwell.

I was now on the roof and it was only a matter of time before my rappel.  A crew briefly interviewed each one of us (not that this interview on the roof was on my video unfortunately. A bit disappointing I have to say). I was hoping Ninja Turtle guy and I would go down the building together but it didn’t work out that way.  I would soon learn this was a journey I would be taking on my own ..... TO BE CONTINUED.
Part of the climbing equipment from the rooftop.
The view from the roof of the Sunlife WestTower.