Do one thing every day that scares you.
Fear causes hesitation, and hesitation causes your worst fear to come true.
~Bohdi (Point Break 1991)
It really is a silly hobby, and when you think about it, one of the dumbest and most maladaptive pursuits one can engage in. I mean honestly, who in their right mind would voluntarily leave terra firma, bury the deepest of survival instincts from the conscious mind and trust that dime sized edges of fractured rock will not fail when loaded under body weight. Not very smart.
Why is it then that I find this act so fundamentally satisfying? Maybe it is because I live in a modern world so saturated with stimulus, distractions and mental clutter that my brain is seldom allowed the opportunity to center. Maybe it is because stepping out high above gear and smearing on the tiniest of granite crystals removes the omnipresent insulation from risk that is wildly pervasive in our society. Or maybe it is because the sharp end of a rope forces an assumption of responsibility for my own well-being that is largely vacant from the sue-happy culture of which I am a part.
While I suspect that Mrs. Roosevelt likely never tied in for a day in the vertical, she clearly understood that fear has the power to intently focus our entire being on the task at hand, take us out of our little bubbles of comfort, and grow just a little.
Rock climbing or public speaking, a little fear likely good for us.
I have climbed more in the last three weeks than I have in the previous three years and as much as my philosophical meanderings attempt to justify a completely self-serving and pointless pursuit, all I really have to say is that climbing is a hell of a lot of fun and I do it because it makes me happy.
I probably like it because it scares me a little as well.