Frozen…

Daily prompt: Fight or Flight:  Write about your strongest memory of heart-pounding, belly-twisting nervousness: what caused the adrenaline? Was it justified? How did you respond?

I was high above the earth, straddling a space of about two or three feet.  I had helped my team mates get across the space from one side to the other, and now it was my turn… all I had to do was find something for my hands to hold on to, push off with my left leg, step across the space and onto the other ledge and I and the rest of the team would be home free…

Except that there wasn’t anything really substantial for my hands to hold… that is why I had been there… I was the person everyone else could use to steady themselves as they stepped across.  I would have to do it on my own, with no one to steady me and not much to hold onto…

I was tired, and my muscles in my legs were tired… they were beginning to tremble from the exertion and fatigue of holding the necessary position that had helped others to pass…   And while in reality I was only about eight to ten feet up in the air, it seemed a whole lot higher, and all of a sudden I was afraid that my legs would give out when I moved and I’d fall…

The more I thought about it and about trying to move and the possibility of falling, the tighter the muscles all over my body got and the less strength I felt in my legs… jelly legs they were becoming… and that wouldn’t work… I’d never get across…

I tried to make myself do it… to just push off with the left foot and swing it over… I kept telling myself what to do and how to do it… my mind was screaming the instructions but my brain did not seem to be sending the signals to the rest of my body… or my body was just not listening…

Instead, I just sat there… trembling… frozen…

In the end, I finally had to admit that I could not do it, and the instructors that were monitoring our group’s progress through the obstacle course had to help me down… chalk up a “fail” for the group on this obstacle…

You see, everyone in the group had to get through the obstacle to get a “pass” on it…

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5 thoughts on “Frozen…”

  1. I’m reminded of a time about 30 years ago when a friend talked me into climbing the steep side of a mesa in southern New Mexico. I knew it was going to be a challenge, but I wasn’t ready for an unexpected challenge when we came upon a sheer rock face about12-15 feet high that was the only way up. Add to that my slightly more than mild fear of heights, and I knew this was not going to be fun, but there was no way I was going to be a whimp and back out. About halfway up, I made the mistake of looking down, and my body literally froze. I couldn’t do anything or go anywhere. It was pure terror, and not one of my limbs or fingers would move a millimeter. It took several minutes for my friend to talk me through it, and we finally made it to the top, but that few minutes seemed like an eternity. The reward, however, was worth every bit of fear I had just experienced, as we got to watch a huge late-afternoon sandstorm move across the valley below just as the sun was beginning to set. Some things are just worth it.

    1. That’s the truth!! If you can get through it, it is always worth it!! I think all the adrenaline that is pumping when you are “frozen” then joins in with the adrenaline that comes from getting through it… and you have a “high” that is not easy to duplicate. That is probably what fuels the individuals who do all the high risk sports… trying to get the same or a better “high”…

  2. Thank-you for your visit to Word Zoo and kind comments.
    I was right into this post and did not anticipate the endings. Rats. But so understand. Odd how that freeze-up can occur. Yet you did assist everyone else? Shouldn’t that count for a partial pass?
    You’re a good sport. Take care.

    1. No… it was a team obstacle course… and of course, part of the importance of it was learning to work together and problem solve as a team… It was many years ago when this happened, but I can still remember that feeling of being “frozen” and not being able to act… but I do think if I had not felt so fatigued by the time it was my turn there might have been a different outcome… And as I have come to know since then, even when we “fail” at something, we learn from it…

      And thank you for visiting!! 😎

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