Check out this awesome story submitted by Interchanger Sam and his intrepid companion Andrew.
As Sam (aka The Compass) approached the towering cliff face that fateful summer afternoon, he looked up, and wiped the sweat from his brow. After a grueling morning of fearlessly navigating himself and his team of faithful companions all the way from base camp to The Hangout, he had finally arrived at his destination.
He reached into his back-pack and took a long hard swig from his water flask. The moment had arrived. The thing which Sam had been anticipating for what seemed like centuries was now staring him bleakly in the eyes. The monstrous face of the jagged cliff seemed to lean right over him jeeringly, as if to challenge his next move, but Sam stood his ground and simply stared adversity in the face with the grim determination of a seasoned adventurer. Nothing was going to stop Sam from climbing this cliff, not after everything he had done to get this far, and as Sam signaled for his support worker to begin harnessing him up, he felt the hairs stand up on the back of his neck.
Since this was Sams first time at indoor rock climbing, there were of course no shortage of difficulties. He had not foreseen the need to wear the kind of tight fitting shoes that are so well suited to the challenging task of securing foot-holds on a smooth rock surface, and so as he began his first attempts to haul himself up the cliff, his sand shoes slipped and slid all over the cliff. This however, only served to amuse Sam, who is always one to laugh in the face of danger and as he continued to scramble a few feet up the cliff only to slip back down again, he let out a great deal of laughter. These silly shoes! he exclaimed as he swung from side to side in his harness, I can’t get my toes in the right place!
Luckily, Sams exasperated shouts and loud chortles of belly laughter had been duly noted by the young lady running the rock-climbing gym and it was not long before she came running to his rescue, offering him a nice new pair of professional rock climbing shoes as well as a few technical pointers to aid him in his mission. Sam thanked the lady with all the manners of a gentleman, and once he had finished strapping on the shoes, he wasted no time in returning to his task with even greater vigor than before.
There was no stopping Sam this time as he managed to launch himself up the cliff, clinging and swinging from rock to rock. Sam didn’t even look down once as he quickly dragged, pulled and pushed himself up the practically vertical ascent. Within only a matter of minutes, he was nothing more than a tiny speck set against the vast ceiling of the rock climbing gym and all we could hear from our position at the foot of the cliff was I’ve done it! I touched the top! We all breathed a huge sigh of relief as we waved to Sam and shouted our congratulations. Sam waved back to us as he reclined on his harness and rested for a minute, looking down at us from his great height.
Then it was time for the descent and Sam did not take long to find his footing once again and make his way back down the cliff with the dexterous ease of a mountain goat.
When Sam reached the bottom of the cliff, he was exhausted. As soon as his feet touched the ground, he unbuckled his harness and took a seat at one of the cafeteria tables. Sam was understandably proud of his accomplishment today but did not spend too long bathing in the after-glow of his success, for as soon as he had given his body adequate respite, he once again raised his head and scanned the cliffs above him looking for the next challenge.
The Compass climbed two more cliffs that day, and although each climb was not by any means short of the kinds of challenges which would send most adventurers running home in fear, he managed to climb his way to success each time and reach the top of them all. As Sam finally turned his back on the cliffs that day and began the long journey back to base camp, he felt a deep sense of satisfaction, for today he proved to himself that there is no challenge too tall, no mountain high enough, to keep him from achieving his goals.
Story by Sam (The Compass) and Myaree Community Facilitator Andrew Hayden