Conquering Your Fears

(Today’s blog post is from 15-year old Peyton Arthur. Hat’s off to this young man!)

Everyone, well almost everyone, I’ve ever known can tell you they have a fear of something. From spiders to snakes, and even the dark—people are afraid of something. I, on the other hand, am scared of heights. As far back as I can remember, heights have always scared me.

When I was younger, kids always climbed trees. Not me! There was no doubt in my mind I would not be climbing a tree. Of course, like every great story, I was going to attempt my fear. Last summer, I had the opportunity to go with a group of friends to a climbing tower.

I didn’t want to look like a chicken, so I told them I wouldn’t have a problem climbing.

As the line drew closer, I could feel my stomach begin to churn. Finally, it was my turn. I began putting the harness on, latching myself up, and before I knew it I was being hoisted off the ground. Trying to stay calm definitely wasn’t easy, but I was trying. I placed my feet and hands on fake rocks and slowing began climbing. I thought I was getting close to the top. Wrong! I looked down to find myself only about four feet off the ground.

Knowing I looked like a cat in a dog pin, I picked up my speed. The only thing I could think of was what kind of looks were on my friends’ faces. Despite my temptation to look, I kept climbing. Another several minutes went by and I found myself reaching for the bell at the top of the tower. I knew that I was about to conquer my fear.

Suddenly, before my eyes, the distance between the bell and my hand was growing larger. I was falling. “Oh, my goodness,” I thought.

I don’t know how to break a fall. The ground was coming closer and closer, and then I hear “boing!” I had forgotten I was attached to a bungie cord.

After getting both feet on the ground, I begin to unlatch myself from the harness. I couldn’t figure out why I had fallen. I looked over to the supervisor of the climbing tower and asked him why I had fallen. He looked at me and pointed to a sign that read, “You have only ten minutes to complete the course.” It was all I could do not to knock the guy’s lights out. I was reaching for the bell!!! I had almost conquered my fear of heights. I couldn’t help but think to myself, “I wish I would have made it all the way.”

It took me awhile to realize that my experience with the climbing tower had taught me something. It taught me that sometimes in life we have goals, but sometimes we fall short of achieving them. This doesn’t make you a failure, it just puts you closer to actually achieving that goal the next time.

NOTE FROM BUTCH: Peyton, you have a bright future as a writer and as a great example to others whether they’re 15 or 85! Thanks for your guest blog!