I don’t know much about sports… really any sport! I will watch football with the hubby when I have nothing else to do….both boys played soccer (Carter 1 season and Will 4 or 5 seasons – he says he wants to return to soccer in the fall)…both boys played T-ball for a brief while. My nephew plays every sport and he is a fantastic athlete! My boys didn’t get the athletic sports gene – even though they do try.
We went on vacation this past week to an indoor/outdoor water park, Wilderness at the Smokies. The boys had a blast and hubby and I had fun but we were exhausted. Besides the water parks, they also have an area called ‘Wilderness Adventure Forest’. Inside the area is laser tag, laser maze, arcade, bowling, rock climbing and something called Tree Top Towers. Tree Top Towers is a 3 story… way up in the air… ropes course. It has cargo nets, balancing beams, lily pads, ladder steps and more in mid-air.
One thing I have to say about my William is he is a dare devil and is NOT afraid of heights. He did not get that from me. Will had no problem climbing as high as he could go in the Tree Top Towers and making it to the top of the rock climbing wall too. Have you ever tried to climb one of those rock climbing walls? It takes strength and skill – and he made it look so easy. While climbing the Tree Top Towers he would let go and let the harness just dangle him there. You talk about holding my breath and trying not to be a Nervous Nancy. I tried to be the cool mom by saying… “That is so cool how you dangle there. Can you show me how you grab on to the rope and make it across the lily pads?” He was happy to show me his lily pad skipping skills in mid-air and had no clue how I easily convinced him to stop dangling.
Carter, on the other hand, is scared of heights. He gets that from me. He tried the rock wall and only got a foot or two off the ground. He hung his head and said that was not for him. He was okay with not climbing it.
He also tried the Tree Top Towers one afternoon and made it up the first few steps and turned back around and said that was not for him either. However, he must have thought about the Tree Top Towers all night and not being able to conquer his fears. The next day he told me he wanted to try again climbing in the air. I asked him if he was sure and he reassured me he was. One of the workers hooked him up to the safety harness and I watched him climb the first few steps – he was terrified. He made it to the 1st platform but began to freak out. I just knew he was going to come back down. My heart sunk for him because I knew he wanted to do it. Yet, little did I know that an employee had been watching Carter. The young man was hooked up to his own harness and made his way over to Carter. Carter was freaking out and started to tear up. I couldn’t hear the conversation the young man was having with Carter but I could tell he was reassuring Carter that it was safe and he would be okay. Carter started to turn around and the young man reached out his hand and continued to encourage him. Carter grabbed the young man’s hand and they walked the rope steps together, then the balance beams, and then the lily pads. I looked away for a brief moment… out of the blue I heard my hubby say “Way to go Carter”. When I looked back up – I saw the young man but I didn’t see Carter. I got a little nervous because I couldn’t find Carter in the high Tree Top and then…. I saw him… he was WAY up in the air climbing all by himself. My heart was so happy…. seriously HAPPY… tears came to my eyes – I was doing happy dances and cheering loudly on the inside and celebrating not so crazy and embarrassing on the outside.
The best way I know how to describe how happy I was is comparing my feelings to a baseball game…
Let’s say your child is not so good at baseball. He has been trying so hard all season and just hasn’t been the player he wants to be… you have watched him struggle and your heart breaks because all he wants is to be a good/great ball player and your heart hurts because no matter how hard he has tried he still struggles… then the last game of the season comes to present and…
- Your child is up to bat. (instead of being up to bat… Carter gets his harness on.)
- Your child makes his way to the plate. (instead of making his way to the plate… Carter took one step on to the steps.)
- Your child waits on the perfect ball and then “WHACK” – he hits the ball. (instead of hitting the ball… Carter made it to the first platform.)
- Your child rounds 1st – then second plate. (instead of rounding 1st and 2nd… Carter grabs on to the young man’s hand and they begin to walk the rope steps – then the balance beams.)
- Your child makes his way to 3rd plate – meanwhile the ball is still flying way up high and far. (instead of heading to 3rd plate… Carter and the young man are making their way to the floating lily pads.)
- THEN.. you look a way for one moment and all of a sudden you hear cheers from the fans. You look back and your child is running for home and the ball is GOING, GOING, GONE!!!!! HOME RUN!!!!! ( instead of that scenario… I hear my hubby cheer on Carter, look back and see my son conquer his fears on his own… GOING, GOING, GONE!!!! HOME RUN!!!!)
HOME RUN!!! He was so proud of himself. Grinning from ear to ear… waving to us! Although I was not jumping up and down on the outside… on the inside I was jumping up and down – doing the wave – give high fives! I was so happy for him – he conquered a fear… he did it on his own!!! He hit a GRAND SLAM – out of his own ball park!!!
Another vacation is in the books… another vacation with wonderful memories! AND – fears were conquered!!!
Oh… and did I mention during vacation we celebrated my husband’s birthday! 🙂
“NEVER LET THE FEAR OF STRIKING OUT KEEP YOU FROM PLAYING THE GAME.” ~ BABE RUTH