Lessons from an Impasse
What I learned while dangling 40 feet above the earth
Friday, June 13
Yesterday morning it began snowing here in camp -- no kidding. It's actually not that unusual for it to snow in Colorado's high country during the month of June. Fortunately, the snow was not sticking and did not last, but the wind sure had bite.
Later that day, we headed to a local crag for one of our first activities: rock climbing. We arrived at the Ironclad climbing crag, where several ropes were set up on a large rock wall, about 40 feet tall. We were each assigned a different route, along with a time limit, but were not given any info on how difficult the climbs were.
Lessons from an Impasse
As I began ascending, the wind began whipping in the air, blowing the ropes sideways. Climbing is something I have a lot of experience with, so I wasn't too shaken, though the cold began to chill me to the bone.
I made it through most of the climb easily, until I stood on top of a small roof (which is a term that climbers use for a horizontal overhang).
The face was blank with very few holds, save a few dime-sized nubs. At an impasse, I hung there for a few minutes. Finally, I pinched a small nub and pulled my way to the top of the route, my hands feeling numb and painful.
Others faced their own battles on the climbs. Some were able to complete them; some were not. Then we gathered to debrief the experience with some questions.
Adventure Sports as Tutor
With Lifelines, activities like this one are not just for fun sake, but to teach life principles through process learning. Lifelines uses Henry Cloud's book, Changes that Heal, as the foundation for its training.
Often, we get hung up on the ideal person that we want to be, and refuse to accept our failures or ways in which we lack reaching our ideal.
Even though I made it up the route, the experience brought up questions like, am I as proficient as I want to be? How do I respond when I fail on routes? The discussion proved interesting and definitely got me thinking.
After lunch, we began climbing more, this time just for fun. The sun shone through the clouds, warming the rock and our chilled fingers. It turned out to be a great afternoon.
Getting Ready for Students
This first week has mostly revolved around exercises like this one, as well as meetings and trainings, all to help prepare us for when the students come. As part of their orientation, we will be taking the students on a 3-day backpacking trip.