On my trip to Puerto Rico, I had the opportunity to apply some of the skills I have picked up in Bikram yoga to my life outside the studio walls. In addition to having a high tolerance for heat, I found that my practice helped me a lot when I got around to climbing up a waterfall and then rappelling down alongside one. I’ll get to the rappelling in my next post.
My first major task on this particular day was to free climb up a waterfall. This sounds terrifying, but understand that it was safe for people with no free climbing up a waterfall experience. Yes, we could slip and fall. Yes, we could get banged up. No one was likely going to get seriously injured. It wasn’t a super tall waterfall. It probably took me five minutes to get up it.
The rush of the water down the rocks actually makes them less slippery (that’s what the guides told us). There are foot holds and places to grab on to.
I was the second one to go. I wanted to watch someone first, and then I didn’t want to sit around in line thinking about what I had to do. So I just went.
I had gotten about halfway up when my brain kicked in with, “OH MY GOD. We are climbing up a waterfall. Is this really happening? How is this even possible?”
My brain is such a jerk. Never wants to focus on the task at hand (finding foot holds and pulling myself up). Always trying to start some drama. It started to tell me how I was going to mess up and slip and fall and….
You know what? Shut-up brain.
I quickly got it back under control. No need to ponder the what-ifs of it all. I got my breath under control and went back to the task of looking for places to put my hands and feet. I kept pulling myself up slowly. One step at a time. Breathe, look, grab, pull up. Breathe, look, grab, pull, up. I got some inner dialogue going on. What else could I do? All I needed to do was breathe, look, grab, and pull myself up.
Before I knew it I was at the top. I didn’t slip. I didn’t fall. I had no bruises or scratches (that comes later on with the rappelling). I was thrilled with myself for doing something I had never imagined I could do.