Monday, March 14, 2016

A Person Experience- #OpenBook Blog Hop

     This week we're talking about a personal experience. A pretty broad category trying to narrow it down is tough. I'm old, and I admit it. I've done a lot in my life. I've stood on the top of a mountain, I've played on beaches on both the East and West coasts, I've hunkered down and survived several hurricanes. I've travelled all over the United States for work and have been in all but about four states.
     I met my husband while I was in college and we got engaged six weeks after we met. We got married three months after we met. And we're still married, for more years than many of you have been alive.
     We've had two children, one girl and one boy. The perfect American family. Except that I've held my dying little girl in my arms, due to the sudden onset of a previously undiagnosed and unsuspected medical condition. She survived, thank heavens. And I watched my son's dreams disappear due to an entirely different medical condition.
     I've worked for thirteen different companies in four different states. I've had my poetry published internationally and I've self-published four books—so far. So how do I narrow all of that down and talk about only one thing?

    When I was in college (at one of the three colleges I've attended) I took a P.E. course in Basic Rock Climbing techniques. In other words, mountain climbing. We'd load up a bus Saturday mornings and head out to some cliffs about 45 minutes away from the school. We started off with basic things like learning how to tie knots and use carabiners (see below) as well as how to bundle our ropes so they wouldn't get tangled during use.

    As we got more confident in out skills, we started to actually climb the bigger rocks, then moved on to the smaller cliffs. We also learned safety techniques, how to rescue other climbers if they got in trouble while climbing. That was the day I spent way too much time dangling from the edge because my partner couldn't figure out how to save me.
     It's a good thing the college was far away from home so my poor mother didn't hear about it until I was halfway through the course.
Because, you see, this was about three months after I'd had a major accident on my bicycle. The front wheel fell off going down a hill and I ended up in the hospital for five days with a concussion and a broken collarbone.

    But back to the rock climbing. The last day of the course we finally got to rappel down the longest cliff in the area. It wasn't that big compared some I've seen since then, but it was a good starting point. For those of you whom have never done it, rappelling is basically walking off a cliff backwards, with only a rope and your own skill to keep you from dropping all the way down at once.
    The first few steps down were freaky. I stayed way too close to the cliff, trying to find places for my feet to land and get a grip. But then I got the idea of it. Push out, let the rope slide through your hand just a bit and eventually touch the face of the rock again with your feet. When I finally reached the bottom, I wanted to do try again.
     So that's my story. I can't wait to hear what everyone else has chosen as their experience. You can find out by following the links at the bottom of the post. And if you have any questions for me, please leave them in the comments.

#Mountain Climbing #Rappel

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  1. Another brave soul! My life has been quite tame compared to yours, P.J!

    1. And I left some things out! Like hopping on a Greyhound bus and going halfway across the US to a attend a college I picked out of a book and had never seen. Or taking a week-old baby tent camping in a wilderness area.

  2. You and I must be kindred sisters, PJ. Life is an adventure, sometimes of our own making and sometimes just because circumstances conspired. Might as well have a good time while doing it.

  3. Funny part is, I didn't think of them as adventures when I was in the middle of them. Now I can see them through other people's POV and go WOW!

  4. Wow! What an amazing life. I did a little rock climbing in my younger days. It is a grat experience!