So, we’re about 40 feet up when Katie looks at me and goes, “How did we get talked into this?”
Thing is, we really weren’t talked into anything. We just kind of went with it.
Last weekend, after we saw Guardians of the Galaxy, Ryun was like, “Rappelling at Laurel Caverns next week!” And while I wasn’t thrilled about the idea, actually getting me to go required no coercion. Thing is, a couple years ago, I would’ve vehemently refused. I wouldn’t even jump into Ik Kil in Mexico (although I bet I would now). And quite frankly, I attribute this to two things–the first is just being in a better place mentally and emotionally, which includes considerably more confidence, and the second is the people I surround myself with now. Granted, those two things are very closely related, but my environment is much more positive, uplifting, and encouraging now, and I feel much more comfortable. Quite frankly, as sad as this is and as upsetting as some may find it, I don’t think I would’ve had fun doing something like this with the Craigs at all, and I think it would’ve devolved into a lot of mocking and peer pressure. Instead, Katie and I were nervous (Paul was, too, but it didn’t show until he actually started the rappel–Katie and I from the start were pretty openly scared) and Ryun and their friend Nick were pretty chill, but it was a very calm environment.
I wrote about the actual caves and rappelling here. Basically, it was pretty cool and I felt really safe, and a lot of that’s owed to the excellent instructors. The first rappel was awkward, especially because the harness just feels weird physically and it takes a little getting used to since that’s what’s supporting all your weight. The first step is kind of scary–you have to trust the equipment and get your footing–and operating the rope takes a little getting used to. But you get three rappels, and even after the first one, the fear is gone, the confidence and fun levels are up, and we started joking about timing each other coming down and trying to set and beat best times. Which we didn’t really actually do because it’s either to say that on stable ground, although each rappel did get faster and faster. I was just still a tad too uneasy to go too fast–and I wondered if there was such a thing as too fast–but each rappel got more fun and smoother. And there were jokes about Paul staring at my ass as I went down, and watching Ryun was fun because even if we had been competing, he’d have won hands down. I don’t know how fast he did his first two rappels because I was still up top for those, but he had to have done his last one in under 30 seconds.
The rappel trip also includes a little tour of the caverns, which was cool, and we hung out on an observation deck for a few minutes before heading over for a brief walk and lunch at Ohiopyle.
Paul headed over to his parents’ for dinner. I was invited but refused–my goal is to not interact with is mother at all until Thanksgiving–and he seemed uneasy about going himself, but sounds like it went well. His mom observed that he’s much calmer now that he’s moved out and that our relationship seems to be better. Both are true. In fact, my therapist likes to ask me to rank our relationship from 1 to 10, and at our lowest points, I was giving us about a 6 or 7. Granted, that’s still pretty good, but I’d say we’re at a solid 9, 9.5 now. Might be worth writing about a bit, although it’s not like there are these major noticeable changes.
Anyway, I hung out at my parents’, tried to nap, brought some junk home out of my room there, all that good stuff.
And with that, Paul and I are determined to not spend any money this coming weekend. We’ve had an expensive couple of weekends.