Last month one of my closest friends came back into town to celebrate her birthday. She chose a small group of us to celebrate with and she did all the party planning. It was perfect!
Until I heard what was planned.
We were all going to a local zip lining obstacle course.
Yeah! Kind of.
I'm not necessarily afraid of heights. I just have enough sense not to climb 40 feet up supported only by a couple ropes and shoulder harness. And, remember, all obstacles are also 40 feet up in the air.
After the initial fear though I really enjoyed it. There were a couple obstacles where I had legitimate fear and had to talk myself through it. But I would definitely go back again and I felt a real sense of accomplishment when I was done.
While I was up climbing through the trees, it occurred to me this is why recovery programs have a physical challenge aspect to them. To build self confidence.
I've written before about Kid 1's struggles with addiction. I've paid for more than one rehab for him. Each time he would tell me about repelling down a high tower or kayaking in the ocean. Although I tried to be supportive, my inner dialogue was always "yeah that's nice. I'm working my ass off to pay for you and you're having fun on vacation."
It built up resentment for sure.
It took being 40 feet up in the air myself, not trusting my support ropes, not believing in myself, and not thinking I was strong enough to do this that I finally realized the kid wasn't on vacation. He was leaning to trust himself and his support system.
Tonight Kid 3 called from Army Boot Camp to tell me he passed his physical fitness tests and he only has one week more to go. This week coming up is what used to be called hell week. Basically it's a week in the woods, little to no sleep, repelling down buildings and all sorts of other physical challenges.
I told him you can do this!
Yes, you'll be tired. Yes you'll be scared. But trust your training and trust in yourself.
Kid 1 had to learn it. And I had to learn it.
It's scary. But a lesson worth learning.