Conquering Fear

This is me on the pole about to step out onto the wire.

This week I was able to go to Girls Camp.  This is a camp for girls ages 12-18 in my church.  We attended a camp near Heber City, UT.  It's a beautiful place, high in the mountains.  One of the confidence courses (similar to ropes course type activities) was a zip line.  You had to climb up this tall power pole to a wire that you then shuffled along to get to the perch where you were hooked up to the zip line, then you were able to fly.

One girl, Kaylee, was SCARED TO DEATH to go.  She didn't have to, but was encouraged to try it.  The other girls were so sweet to her, trying to calm her and to calmly let her know that she could be brave and try it and that she could do it!  Kaylee was willing to give it a try.  She got harnessed up, helmet on, and told the safety rope holder "climber ready".  She took 4 steps up the pole and started sobbing - hard!  Saying she couldn't do it.  The rest of us in our group sat silent as she climbed so she could be calm.  One girl in particular - Megan - was asked by Kaylee if she would help her through this terrifying challenge.  Megan calmly started talking to Kaylee telling her she could do this and to take one more step up, then another, then another.  Kaylee finally made it up the pole to where she would now have to step onto the wire.  Sobbing, almost uncontrollably.  Yelling out "I can't do this, I'm going to fall!".  Megan calmly talked her through taking one step up onto the wire.  She did.

On the other side of the wire (on the perch) stood an elderly man who voluntarily serves with his wife and 2 other couples at this camp all summer long.  He helps all the girls at this camp at this particular station.  He knew exactly what to say.  Kaylee is clinging for her life (or so she thinks) to the last hand hold on the pole.  Sobbing.  The man calmly asks her her name.  We tell him from the ground.  He begins calling her by name and asking her if she would like him to meet her half way across the wire.  She nods yes.  Then asks if he can come more than half way.  He calmly convinces her to step onto the wire to see how it feels.  Still sobbing she steps on the wire with one foot.  Still sobbing.  She steps on with her other foot.  Sobbing.  He steps on the wire headed towards her.  Kaylee is still sobbing and frozen where she's at.  She can't move.  He calmly tells her to grab the rope handle and to shuffle towards him.  She makes it half way and instead of grabbing her hand, he gently hands her the next rope, slowly moving back towards the perch hoping Kaylee will keep coming.  One rope done, another rope done.  She's almost there!  Still sobbing the elderly man gently hands her the last rope to shuffle towards.  She grabs it.  He reaches out his hand to hers and she is on the perch.  She made it.  We scream and clap and holler her name.  She did it!  She did it!

She gets harnessed onto the zip line and off she goes.  She's made it.  She conquered her fear.

The love that was expressed to Kaylee that night, particularly from Megan, was unbelievable.  It was tear jerking.  What an experience this was and to witness such love from a group of girls to the one who needed it most at that moment.  Needless to say, Kaylee was the hero of the day to every single one of those girls and leaders who witnessed her terrifying, yet courageous act.

Doing scary things is hard.  Conquering those fears is even harder.  I am so proud of you, Kaylee, for the courage you exhibited.

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