Vela Adventures is all about giving women a venue to try new and exciting adventure sports that they may not normally try without our encouragement. So, with the Rockies as our backyard, rock climbing was one of the first activities we wanted to offer our customers. However, I haven’t actually ever tried to rock climb so I couldn’t very well offer the outing without trying it, right? Enter my first attempt at rock climbing…and, with my feet safe and secure on the ground, I can say it won’t be the last.
Now, the only knot I can successfully tie is the one to keep my laces from hitting the ground so the fact that I would not only be rock climbing but learning to tie the knot that would keep me harnessed while hanging 50 feet off the ground was quite intimidating. Oh, and did I mention we were rock climbing on a real rock…outside…in Golden? A really, really tall rock, like a mountain rock?
We, my Vela partner and I, met our instructor on Lookout Mountain and after we went through all the safety features our first task was to rappel off the side of a cliff. We couldn’t see the bottom as the top of the rock jutted out over the cliff, like a balcony. Rappelling this rock would literally require taking a leap of faith…after checking and double-checking harnesses, ropes and knots of course. Our wonderful instructor, Colin, held our belay and, as I took that first step, facing backward with no idea of what was below me, I felt such an adrenaline rush. What a life metaphor, too, right? To be suspended off a mountain, trusting a stranger and taking step after step into the unknown and unseen - what a great personal growth opportunity.
After rappelling to the bottom, we took turns climbing back up to the top. This turned out to be much, much more challenging than I thought it would be. I am actually not sure what I was thinking…I kind of envisioned that I would Spiderman up the rock and that would be that. This was soooo not the case as I had to really work and not just physically. I had to learn to trust that the teeny, tiny little nook in the rock would support my weight (thanks to the super cool, sticky rock climbing shoes). I had to push myself to not give up when I was 100 feet above the ground, my heart beating out of my chest. I had to push myself onward when my foot would slip a little or I couldn’t find a crack for the tips of my fingers to barely grip. It helped to have our instructor and my partner cheering me on and when I touched the top of that rock I felt like I just planted a flag at the summit of Everest. I also felt a little like Spiderman - I couldn't wait to tell my kids!
I am still basking in the glow of conquering that really, really tall rock in Golden. And, what’s even more exciting is the possibility of sharing in other women’s excitement and achievement in reaching the top of that rock. This is the best thing about being a co-founder of a company that truly wants women to discover their inner superhero!
Vela is all about fun and adventure!