What does it mean when we tell our children that we are proud of them? I have always struggled with that... Discussing it with friends, we came to the conclusion that it felt more empowering to tell our children: "you must be proud of yourself" or "you can be proud of yourself" instead of "I am proud of you". Pride should be something that you feel about yourself, not that you feel about someone else, right? You can share the joy of someone that is proud of oneself though and I sure had my taste of that the other day when I led my first rock climbing route (thank you, sweet friends!)! In 18 years of rock climbing (with long breaks along the way), I had never led a route. I always top-ropped. I explained the difference about climbing styles here. Those who have followed me for many years know that I have struggled with anxiety all my life and that it kept me from doing some things in which I felt unsafe and stressed, namely driving in traffic (I have had some scary panic attacks while driving) and pushing the limits of my comfort zone.
I started noticing a difference for the first time last year when we were in Arches National Park and I climbed on top of Double-O Arch. I must say that our travel companions are amazing friends that have got to know me very well and understand my struggles (and that like to challenge themselves), so along with JF, they are amazing cheerleaders!
In the last few weeks, I drove in busy Vancouver and in situations that would have otherwise been very stressful not so long ago, and felt very confident and not stressed at all! Having a GPS has also changed my life, I must say!
And here I was, feeling giddy about trying to lead a route and set a belay by myself once up there. I checked my steps at least 3 times, but I did it!! And felt less scared than I thought I would. Sport climbing is a mental game. You can climb the same route easily with a top rope, but once you know that the rope isn't above you, you feel much less confident about the same moves... And the falls can hurt.
So, onward and upward! I am proud of myself!