Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Like a Hero

This weekend I conquered a life-long terror of rocks. Wait, I meant heights (notice, I didn't say "heighths" since that is not a word).

With an old friend and a stranger I rode down near St. George and slept on the cold ground where the bedrock shows through. The stars blanketed my waking dreams. It was really cold; like I had frost on my person as I slept.

(Right about now I imagine that you're thinking, "Duh, Ashley. Of course there was frost. It's JANUARY, and you're in Utah." And you're right. I'm going to blame college for the limitations of my cognitive abilities and stunted desicion-making skills.)

Anyway, I woke up enough times to see the sky turn from one form of beautiful to another all night. In the morning, it was time for bouldering. I only made the boulder writhe beneath my little feet once. I didn't want to make it to the top enough times to hurt its confidence-- I can only imagine the toll emotional breakdowns must have on an over-climbed boulder.

We wandered for the rest of the afternoon around a beautiful little valley that was just itching to be climbed on. After lunch, we headed for some real rocks. I didn't think much about them because I didn't want to have to vomit at the idea of trying to shimmy up one.

When I eventually did, it was paralyzing, traumatizing, and just generally a great time for me to think that other things were more important than breathing (seriously, I don't think I drew breath at any point while I was touching that rock).

And then I sat on the top of that sharp drop off, and I knew what victory felt like for I had conquered that sharp sheet of molten death-trap. Just me and the trusty forest-green rope.

From there, coming down felt like flying. I love that. I have always wanted to be able to fly. I imagine it feels a lot like swimming. But slicing through the air and not being so wet.

It was a great way to adventure on a weekend and I suggest you each take an adventure sometime soon. However, I do not condone sleeping under the stars on your adventure unless you are sleeping significantly closer to the equator than St. George.


Arica said...


Erin said...

I LOVE this post. Ashley you will have to give me some pointers, my boyfriend is trying really hard to get me excited about outdoor bouldering & rock climbing. I have done indoor & liked it. Even bought rock climbing shoes but I am SO SCARED to climb on REAL rocks!!!! I AM SO PROUD of you, you are truly inspiring :)