You dont know how big or small your universe can be until you try to expand it at the cost of your own security. What I mean is to try extreme sports.
There are people who could live without even trying to do more than they think they can. They may never try rock climbing, rappelling, bungee jumping, and other activities that are practiced by people who crave adrenaline. I was one of them until something happened.
I was in the situation to do the opposite of rock climbing, which is rappelling. It means to gradually leave yourself to fall across a rocky cliff or dried waterfall using a rope system with carabiners and a harness.
How I came to be in this situation? WellI didnt desire to experience it. I was in a team building from the company I worked for at that time. We didnt know too much until we got to the place where the action was about to happen. It was in a picturesque area in the mountains, with waterfalls and rocky peaks.
The Training Phase
One of the adventures that the company was preparing for us was to traverse a dried valley full of rocks and caverns. It was fun in the beginning until we reached an area where there was a surface level difference, of about 3 meters, meaning that in the past there was a small waterfall there, 3 meters high. We had to get down by rappelling, using a rope system and a harness.
This was just the training phase. Then, after getting over a flat area, there was another waterfall, higher than the first one. It was maybe more than 10 meters high. This time, it was harder for me to let myself down using the rope, but eventually, I did it. What we realized is that there was no turning back from that point. We had no climbing equipment to climb those 10 meters.
I Started to Descend Into The Abyss
Another flat area followed, and then we reach the real waterfallwe looked down and we had to get down into the abyss: it was the height of an apartment block with ten levels, or at least that was the impression it gave me. We couldnt return, so we had to get down by rope. The worst part is that I had a fear of heights.
The only comforting thing was that a terrace existed within the first quarter of the distance that we had to descend, a terrace a few meters wide, and a cave hole filled with water that remained from the drying process of the waterfall, looking like a small oval pool, naturally formed. The first phase was to descend until we reached the terrace.
It was the first time I have done something like this in my life. I had to do it because there was no turning back. The instructor told me to breathe deeply and then I let myself slowly descend, keeping the fixed rope with one hand and allowing the other rope to get me down more and more, just as we learned in the training phase.
I never looked down and reached the terrace, falling right on the edge of the pool, sliding on the slippery surface of the rock, and almost falling into the pool that seemed quite deep.
I got back up, and slowly reached the edge of the terrace. On the edge, another instructor waited, to change the rope, so I can go further down. He left me suspended near the edge of the terrace, in the air, in the harness for like 20 seconds, which seemed to be forever. It was a moment of pure fear.
Rappelling Like a Pro
Once the rope was changed, I had to let myself down again, this time it had to be a little faster.
Instead of being straight down and flat, the wall of the waterfall was a bit carved on the interior, and the more I descended, the distance between me and the wall increased. At one point I was sliding in the rope because I had no wall to put my feet on.
I wanted to look down, but I couldn't. I continued to slide down until I reached the ground. I could not believe it. I finished, it was a success. I rappelled like a professional. At least this is what I felt.
Rappelling is cool, and the feeling was amazing!
I am not an adrenaline craving type of guy, but I must admit that I began to understand why many people are attracted to extreme sports. I enjoyed it, but I was also really scared. I am not sure if I ever want to do something like this again. It is not for me. But, for others, it could be part of their life routine. Extreme sports are not for everyone, but it wont hurt to try them once. It will help you to overcome your limits.