Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Harness Your Inner Power Bird

Honestly, I cant remember the exact moment when it happened, but it was sometime early in the climbing season. It may have been up at Squamish or out at Vantage, but I know it was with my dear friend and climbing partner, Z. While the exact time and location are fuzzy, what has stayed very clear in my memory was my focus. Keeping my fears feeling as light and inconsequential as possible so as not to let them distract me, I pushed all my energy into breathing steady and deep, trusting my feet and continuing to look up.

There are lots of Power Birds in CoR.
It was while looking up, that I saw it. A wide-winged hawk, soared above me, from thermal to thermal, high above all other features of the land. I imagined myself inside the mind of that hawk; no fear over being so high in up, only love for the view, for the exhilaration from feeling the air moving through its feathers, for the fun of diving and twirling its body to soar fast, slow, high or, (channeling Dr. Suess) low. And calm came over me.

The incredible effort I had been putting forth to suppress fear and lift my confidence seemed like overkill. Climbing higher and higher, visions of my hawk friend filled my brain leaving me smiling, giggling at my own ability to "soar" up the rock, the strength and almost grace of my movements - I felt so peaceful and so powerful! You see, all I had to do was harness my inner Power Bird.

Holy smokes, that was a new feeling on rock!

While I dont remember all the details. I do remember at some point nearly shouting like the dorky goofball that I am, to Z to, "Harness your inner power bird!" Though I hadn't really been looking for it, I'd found my "spirit" animal.

As cheesy as it is, every time I climb now I'm always on the lookout. It might be a hawk again, or a crow or sparrow, or when I'm most lucky, a hummingbird (I superstitiously take these as the greatest of all omens bringing me love and wonderful messages). Whenever that tickle of fear starts in at the back of my brain (always), it never fails that I look up and some power bird is soaring overhead, having come to remind me of my own potential - if I choose to accept it.

Perhaps you have your own power "animal"; maybe its a zippy chipmunk (they're great climbers, esp when chased by Mailes!), a sticky footed beetle, words from a friend who always believes in you, or even a completely inanimate object like, oh, hmmm... like your puffy jacket. Whatever it is, power "animals" have magic to work. Harness your inner power bird, then let her go and watch her fly!

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