First Climb – poem 22/30

Double figure-eight knot.

Double figure-eight knot. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The air was calm, but I was not

as I surveyed the challenge ahead of me.


Harness check – secure.

Rope check – secure.

Ability check – insecure, no, secure? secure!


Stop killing time, must start the climb.

Eyes furrow in concentration, determination.

Sweat drips slowly down a warm neck,

though no exertion has happened yet.


Choose a handhold, get one grip then two,

Take the first step off solid ground,

then take a deep breath.

Head spins a bit,

The next step is taken.

This is it!

The ascent has begun.


Find grip after grip – realize it’s fun!

Hear cheers down below,

Your spotter encourages.

Feel alive so alive! Now go!


Higher you go, feeling so small,

And yet feeling ready to conquer that wall.

Muscles burning.

Molars grinding.

Leg trembling.

Heart pumping.


Dare to check progress with a quick glance down,

Want nothing more than to be back on that ground.

Ready to rappel? NO! But you must

Lean back, grab the rope,

the ultimate test of trust.

Let go of the fear,

Let go of the wall.

Scream! as you feel yourself fall.


Adrenaline, icy hot, in your veins.

bounce-kick, bounce-kick.

Just a few steps remain.


There. Safe and sound, both feet on the ground.

Relief? Yes. But something more too.


Your grin,

your big, cheeky victory grin,

shows you not only beat this wall,

but also won the battle within.


7 thoughts on “First Climb – poem 22/30

  1. ‘Dare to check progress with a quick glance down, Want nothing more than to be back on that ground.’

    Read this: ‘Dare to check progress with a quick glance down,’
    ‘Want nothing more than to be back on that ground.’

    Now try to fill marked space [*] in between the lines with another poem, not shorter than, say, 20-30 lines /I’ll tell you why later, ok?/ Take 15 – max.30 minutes to complete the task.

    • Are you a writing professor perhaps? In which case I have never taken a course on creative writing or poetry, well not any that were worth my time or money. I will try your exercise.

  2. Dare to check progress with a quick glance down,
    Feel the distance come alive
    and pulse in my being
    as I live in that moment
    and absorb what I’m seeing

    The fear is gone, replaced by surprise
    I’ve done what they said was
    ‘Impossible’, with certainty in their eyes.

    Gripping that wall, my weight stressing my limbs
    Feeling my strength, outside and in
    I closed my eyes and just Was
    breathed in that moment just because

    The goal that I set
    was not life or death
    but no less important at all
    as I know that taking each step is
    equal to learning to fall

    Muscles unaccustomed to this type of use
    screamed at the pain, bemoaned abuse
    It was time to let go, time to let loose

    Want nothing more than to be back on that ground.

  3. Ok. Stardom (good news) and short lifespan (bad news) is your destiny.

    I had impression that you made far too quick transition in here: ‘Dare to check progress with a quick glance down, Want nothing more than to be back on that ground.’ It doesn’t matter your goal ‘was not life and death’. As much as you want to be brave, invincible, succesful and admired don’t forget that feeling of being secure is expandable. Feeling secure lets you reach best decissions in any circumstances.

    I have no doubts you are ready to turn your own world upside down, just remember not to turn yourself upside down instead. First – know your limits. Then – manipulate your limits. Without it you might be dead in no time especially up high in the mountains (your equivalent: heavy on fear scale). You need to learn how to calmly observe the outside world as this is important to start forming valuable conclusions. You can observe your feelings of decreasing security and increasing fear/anxiety. Fear doesn’t have to punch you in the face.

    Schematic and simple short story.
    There were two friends Sophie and Katie.
    Sophie decided to lie to other people to help Katie.
    Sophie didn’t mention to Katie she was going to lie /to help Katie/.
    Katie met people who were lied to, but she didn’t know they were lied to.
    Katie answered all the questions people asked her.
    Then people answered Katie’s question.

    Summary; from external point of view:
    a) Katie is trustworthy (she told the truth) but Sophie isn’t (she lied).
    b) Sophie is trustworthy (she didn’t lie) but Katie isn’t (she lied).
    c) It is obvious to everyone what Sophie did and why, the thing is she’s up for data falsification in a very specific area, which is not exactly good for everybody, including Sophie and Katie.
    d) There is probability that Katie would have gone along with Sophie’s lie if only she knew about it and was sure* that without meeting specific criterion it would be a lot more difficult to obtain help. *sure = reassured by Sophie on the spot.
    e) Sophie, Katie and other people feel like idiots now, despite their best intentions and effort.
    f) Sophie was unsure of her skills and lied because of that to avoid any imaginable consequences of her self-perceived lack of skills.
    g) Sophie was unsure of external possibilities and lied to avoid any imaginable consequences which could turn out bad for Katie.
    h) Sophie was unsure of Katie’s skills and lied because of that to avoid any imaginable consequences of Katie’s backlash when things go wrong.
    i)There is probability that no lie is needed to obtain help in median time whatever the circumstances.
    j) Your own inferences /discussion/ remembering that Sophie and Katie are still friends.

    My (j) and most probable types: a, c, d (Katie’s opportunism on the spot –> then obviously Katie is untrustworthy too) , e, h. Why h? Because of third party manipulation displayed publically. And of course i, which is absolutely obvious to me.

    Question: What can Sophie’s e&h cause in the future? Answer: f. There is probablility that Sophie was f earlier. Why? Because she was perhaps overcompensating. Why? I do not know. What if she was right before and was right after anyway? We don’t know for sure about before and we are not going to find out. We know how things are now.

    • I agree with the bit about fear, but not your sense that I’m about to to do something extreme. Not at all, and not sure why you think so. Exhilarating baby steps for me all the way.

      The Sophie/Katie story is somewhat interesting, but I have no idea why you shared that or what you wanted me to get from that.

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