Saturday, February 4, 2012

The Wall......A Humbling Experience

Wow…..I was humbled yesterday. Humbled in a kids jungle gym at Safari Sams. Little did I know that I would almost meet my fate at an eight foot wall with a rope with knots dangling from it. Yes, I could have gone back through the thing backwards to get out of it, back up that cargo net. However, letting a kids’ play structure conquer me would be purely embarrassing. For you to read this, you may laugh, but at the time it was no comedic moment. 

As I looked over on my left through the netting, I observed many adults hanging out while the rest of their kids were moving freely throughout the fortress. Luckily, no one saw me in my vulnerable state. I would beat this thing. I grabbed on to the rope thinking that this would be easy. I mean, come on, it was a rope with knots. It brought me back to elementary school at the old Maple Hall (now part of Western Oregon University’s campus) where we would all climb up the 30 foot rope to the top of the ceiling where we would honk the horn. The feeling of accomplishment was always sweet. Fast forwarding 28 years later made me feel ridiculous as I stared at that rope. 

The first attempt was a pure fail. I grabbed on to the first couple of knots and put my feet on the wall. If there was a canyon beneath me, I would have died. I made it up a few knots as my arm muscles were struggling to comprehend what the hell I was doing to myself. Obviously, it was more difficult than I thought, because the rope slipped out of my hands and I went sliding down the wall, the knots pounding me as I slid down on top of it. At that moment I was scared, not that I couldn’t get out of this fortress, but scared that a kids’ structure had beaten me. 

I couldn’t let this happen. I gave it my all. I grabbed the knots once again and started climbing, a little extra adrenaline rushing through me at the thought of the adults on my left watching me struggle. I couldn’t let the ladies see me in this state. I managed to get to the summit and grabbed the top of the wall. At this point I let go of the rope which was close to my second downfall. With the rope out of my hands and my two hands on the wall, I had déjà vu…..with the possibility about tumbling to the bottom again. I made my mind rewind to my youth and/or when I was actually in shape. Muscles shaking with a few grunts in between I managed to pull this out of shape body up to the top. I had finally conquered this thing. The funny thing is that this all took place in about 45 seconds, reading this took longer. This is how I felt though, time was definitely stretched in my moment of weakness. 

Why tell you about this? I knew I would get some feeling out of you. Either feeling sorry for my out of shape ass, relating to the struggles I had, or laughing at my experience. I must say though, I didn’t see many parents going through this fortress. Most of them were either sitting alongside on their Kindles or I-Phones, oblivious to where their kids were even at or if they were ok. My daughter’s asked me to go with them and against my will (knowing I might struggle), I did. All for them, something any parent needs to remember. However, it turned into an accomplishment for me, even though this thing was for kidlings. This experience also taught me that I need to actually do something with myself. 

Take care of yourselves. Spend time with your kids. You are only old if you make yourself that way. My muscles are sore today, but it was all worth it knowing I conquered that f’ing wall. 

Until next time…..