So, I have decided that I have a new goal for my trip to Southeast Asia: Live

Anyone who knows anything about me knows that I have the coordination of…
well.. something without any coordination… (for example I have a scar on
my arm from running into a wall this summer) and can't walk a straight
line if my life depended on it.

Which probably explains my fear of heights… you know… falling into a
canyon or chasm really wouldn't be a surprise from someone who fell out of
the back of a stationary pick up truck on seven different occasions…

Here I am, a flatlander from Wisconsin, hiking what feel like straight
uphill for an eternity, only to strap myself to a rock wall and attempt to
climb up. For someone who has difficulty walking, this seems absolutely

I was ok for the first 20 feet (out of like, 90 total feet). Then the
going got difficult, but I managed to get three quarters of the way
uphill, and then did a stupid thing… I looked down…

Nothing says insta-queasy like seeing that you are above the tree line… My
body starts to shake madly, but I continue to press upward. Then comes a
tricky section of rock, in which I navigate, well… not so much, as I fell
off the wall

I only fell about five feet… but when you feel your heart drop to your
knees and one of you biggest fears is coming into fruition, it feels like
you are falling forever. Not only was a sore, but the rock had beaten me,
so I came back down.

But I am of the stubborn type. I have tamed angry cornfields, mad cows,
and thousands of Girl Scouts… surely I can handle a vertical rock face? My
competitive will kicked in, and I vowed to return.

And an hour later, I returned, bent on reaching the top and conquering
that fear. Not only that, but I had a vendetta with that rock!!!

It took me 45 minutes the first time to reach that rock, but it only took
10 the second time. I was really determined to get over this ledge, my
legs and arms were shaking from the terror, I was holding on by one hand,
and the opposite foot, and my grip was slipping. My only hope was to
launch myself up and fervently hope that there was a handhold in the

I can't describe what happened when I let go, but a grabbed a rock
outcrop. When I pulled myself up, I was shaking so hard that I had to stop
climbing for the second. And I continued on to the top!

Then I turned around and looked out at the scenery (while maintaining a
death grip on the rock). There it was, a solitary rock between two
limestone mountain ranges, with the rice paddies extending through the
valley below. I couldn't tell whether it was the scenery or the fear that
took my breath away.

Vendetta settled, and I am still alive. 10 points for me!


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Author Mandy Posted