I went rock climbing for the first time and quit my JOB the next day.
It is true, the title really tells the whole story. Let me take you back to the year 2000, way back haha. I was in the middle of a divorce and was not happy at work anymore. You could say that life threw me some lemons that year but I was on a mission, a mission to find my happiness. I searched for it high and low and wasn’t able to really find it.
I got a call from my brother who was probably the most adventurous person I have ever met.
He asked me to take a day off with him the following week as he would be in town and we could go do something in nature, like hike or rock climb. Rock climbing was not something I have ever done before. I was a nature girl for sure, I have been on hundreds of hikes and love the outdoors, but rock climbing was a little extreme for my taste. BUT…
I decided to take the day off and we ventured out in the woods to find some big rocks to climb.
I was talking about all my woes on the way out to the rock, my divorce, my dating life or lack thereof, my job and how everything changed and the funk I had been in for quite some time. My brother just listened to me and gave some great brotherly advice but mainly focused his conversation on what we were about to do once we got found the right rock.
So there it was, staring in front of me. A HUGE rock the size of the empire state building. Well at least to me it seemed that way. I was super nervous and was ready to back out at any minute now.
My brother started to prep the ropes and tied me up to them. He started talking to me about what to do first and how to concentrate on each step up along the way. He promised that he had me me secured in the harness and I was really supported by more ropes than normal as he didn’t want anything to happen to me.
I decided to stop letting my mind chatter with all the nonsense going on in my life and took the first step up onto the rock. He talked me through it and pretty soon I was half way up the rock. Each step seemed to get a little easier until I was getting some major distance between me and the ground. He kept telling me not to look down.
I couldn’t help it. I had to look down and then I was really scared. I finally reached the top and I heard my brother call out to me… “Now let go of the rope”. I was in total shock. NO WAY. WHY would I EVER do such a thing? I thought to myself. Ok. I actually yelled that out loud. He heard me.
“Tania, Let go of the rope. I’ve got you.”
I was breathing very fast at this point and decided to let go of the rope, but with only one hand. He laughed a minute and then said, NO the other hand too. So I grabbed the rope with the hand I just released and switched hands… now the other hand was free.
He encouraged me again and said, Tania, trust in the rope and let go.
I finally let go with BOTH HANDS. I thought I was NUTS, but I trusted my brother who had been rock climbing and leading adventure hikes for a lot of years now. I leaned back and just hung there. WOW I thought, what an accomplishment. I am safe. I am secure and look what I just did.
Goosebumps covered my body and my adrenaline was intense but I felt AMAZING, like I could do anything now that I have done this.
He talked me through coming back down and once I got to the ground I gave him a big hug. I thanked him for helping me overcome that fear and asked him how high that rock was. He said,… Oh probably only 25 to 30 feet. That was it? It felt like 100 feet.
As we walked back to where our car was parked, I started to shift my thinking and realized that I really can do anything I set my mind to. I really can live life on my terms. I really can take care of myself. I need to TRUST and LET GO of all the mind chatter and negativity.
SO, you won’t believe what I did next and yes this is a true story.
My boss at work had changed for the worse when he got promoted. Before, when he was fun to work for, he had an open door policy and you could stop in anytime. Now that he was a hotshot Director, he had you schedule time with his admin to meet with him. So, the next day, I went in to work at 6am and collected all my belongings and put them in my car.
I typed up a resignation note stating that I would be resigning that very day. I called his admin as soon as she was in the office and scheduled a 15 min appointment as early as I could get it.
I went into his office, told him I was grateful for the opportunity but that it was important for me to leave and move on to my next adventure. He was SHOCKED as I was in charge of training and helped build that campus, and then was angry. He wanted to know if I was going to a competitor. Of course, I didn’t have any back up plans (normally you have a place to go before you put in your notice). I said I wasn’t and he didn’t believe me. Then I said that I just had a rough year and I need time to figure out what I want out of life.
So… I said my goodbyes to all my staff and the employees I trained and left.
Now, while I don’t always think this is the best way to leave, most of the time I gave two weeks’ notice and had another gig lined up… at this time in my life, it was my BEST CHOICE EVER.
I took the next several months to really figure out what I wanted to do and I am so happy I did. I meditated, I wrote, I worked with some coaches and I figured out my next step and it was so much better than my previous one.
All of this from a simple day of rock climbing?
Well, there is a quote that I have learned over the years from one of my favorite mentors who recently passed away…
“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” — Dr. Wayne Dyer
I think that the rock climbing was a PARADIGM SHIFT for me. I realized in that moment of accomplishment that I did not have to SETTLE for mediocre and I didn’t have to continue living in a negative environment. AND the best part I realized was…
I am the author of my story. I am the creator of my dreams. I choose whether to stay or go and take risks.
So, that is how I choose to live my life. I choose ME and I choose health and I choose happiness.
The next time someone offers an adventure to get you out of your doldrums… I think you should say YES.