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Facing Your Fears Head-On: Lessons from Cheryl Strayed and My Climbing Journey



Woman climbing a tall indoor wall, dynamically stretching between widely spaced holds, amidst a variety of colorful climbing grips. The image captures the essence of overcoming obstacles and the spirit of adventure in sports climbing.
Conquering Challenges: A Journey Up the Climbing Wall — Witness the determination and focus required to scale new heights, both physically and mentally.

My friend recently invited me to join her in seeing Cheryl Strayed speak. As an avid fan of her books, particularly "Wild", I jumped at the chance. Few women possess the courage to trek thousands of miles through the wilderness to find themselves anew. During the event, Strayed emphasized the omnipresence of the fear voice in our minds: “Don’t let fear be the sole voice you heed.” She’s absolutely right; succumbing solely to fear confines us to a narrow existence, stifling growth outside our comfort zones.


Yet, what if that fear-voice wields a megaphone, drowning out all reason? This mirrors my relationship with rock climbing. Despite numerous attempts, I've struggled to embrace the sport. With my family's passion for climbing, I yearn to share in their adventures. Yet, my lack of progress frustrates me, tempting my competitive nature to seek mastery elsewhere.


But what if I desire to confront fear head-on? What if there's value in confronting it mindfully? Each week, I drag myself to the climbing gym, confronting fear anew. My survival instincts scream within, warning of imminent danger with each ascent. Though logic assures me of the safety provided by ropes, fear's grip remains steadfast.


So why persist? Because I refuse to let fear reign unchallenged. Sometimes, I acknowledge fear's concern, thanking it for its vigilance, yet affirming my own capability. This internal struggle, though slow, fosters personal growth. Despite the dominance of my survival instinct, I fear that yielding to it completely would confine me to a life of insignificance. Rock climbing, paradoxically, offers a sanctuary to confront this fear.


Accepting my slow progress as a climber, I've transformed the gym into a battleground against fear. Here, amidst the clatter of carabiners and echoing footsteps, I engage in a weekly skirmish within myself. This ongoing struggle nurtures the part of me that thrives on challenge and embraces the essence of survival. How about your battleground?

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Anna Myagkaya
Anna Myagkaya
14 de mai.

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