Tag Archives: Utah County

The Ropes Course

I am the master of letting myself, and those around me, "off the hook."

Miracles never cease. Hannah and I were out the door this morning by 6:30 a.m.! We made it to the “Ropes Course” in time despite the sleepy dude running the juice bar (or, rather,  slowly ambling the juice bar).

It was a sunny, but very cold Utah County morning. Mt. Timpanogas was as glorious as always, rising above us to the east. Our Course Commander was a great guy named Adam West who wore a knit hat with the bat signal on it. I appreciate an unspoken joke.

Hannah and I had both bundled up in no less than 4 layers each, but it was still cold. All of our “Power-90” group was there along with the Outlook Development facilitators. They put us through our paces.

There were various and sundry physical  challenges that we all helped each other through. I have a general lack of fear of things like heights, and whether or not I will be able to accomplish this task, or that. It’s probably all the gymnastics and my stint as a skydiver. Or, perhaps it was my lack of fear that drove me to those pursuits. Wait. No. I was terrified of rides at the fair as a kid… It doesn’t matter. All I know is, Bursts of Brilliance? Call me. Long Term Grind? Don’t. You could try, but I probably won’t answer. So, while the ropes course was really scary, thrilling and daring for most, for me it was an exercise in endurance, commitment and patience.

It took endurance because of how cold I was. There have been so many times when I’ve punked out because of the cold. I hate being cold. I love the cold so long as my core is warm, but once I lose that internal heat, it’s over. That happened fairly early in the day, so then it became a matter of commitment.

Commitment is a word I can hardly say out loud anymore. I have only recently realized what a total commitment-phobe I am. I like to let myself (and others) off the hook. I put the “hook” in hooky. I am easily bored and ready to move on to the next thing. But I am working on all that. I went to the event today completely committed to the experience. I was committed to staying present and learning everything I could from the group and the facilitators. It was difficult.

Why was it difficult? Because I have no patience for things that I do not have patience for. I have patience and some to spare when someone is struggling, but trying their best, to overcome an obstacle. Or when people are talking and I’m just 10 or 15 degrees warmer. I start to lose it when I’m cold, outside, around a lot of cool toys like zip lines I’d like to be playing on and I’m stuck in an endless debate over how best to get all of us from one side of the pond to the other.

I am someone whose first impulse is to take charge. I decided to practice taking direction and letting other people step in to leadership. This meant I had to constantly remind myself to SHUT UP, be patient and mostly stand still in the cold. Which took commitment. Which then required endurance. Which made it more and more difficult to be patient. Which in turn made it harder to stay committed… you get it.

Overall, I was proud of my experience at the ropes course. In truth, the most “acute” experience I had was when they forced Hannah and I to be in separate groups (very wise) and I was standing way way far far away from her when it was her turn to battle a demon and win.

She is such a rock star! Intellectually I know I should not rescue her from all things scary, even if she is terrified, but it goes against every fiber of my being. Sometimes I feel like Gollum walking behind her muttering, “my precious…”  but not only does she NOT require rescue, I think the facilitator’s advice that I could be hindering her personal growth is wise.

So, in keeping with the theme of excess emancipation, I am committed to stopping excess worrying and rescuing in general. I know she’s resilient, smart and resourceful. I will use my faith in her to override the worry-and-rescue subroutine running in my brain at all times.

To that end, in the spirit of endurance, commitment and patience, every time I catch myself worrying over stuff only she can ultimately deal with, I will picture myself throwing out the worry and putting faith in its place. Shucking the superfluous shit. Maybe I’m getting the hang of this?

Its that time of the week now to shift the focus back to ridding myself of material madness. I will take pictures and post a report on the progress of the big YARD SALE coming soon to Salt Lake City.

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Filed under 101 Day Project, Moving On