|I'm wearing my bright yellow Vancouver Marathon t-shirt, channelling my Inner Strong Woman and perhaps hoping to signal my position to bears and cougars so that I don't surprise them.|
|Pater's posing by a huge, ancient stump, logged many decades ago. . .|
Since posting my complaint, I've been thinking more about it, inspired and fuelled by the energy of your responses. Honestly, I worry that I've painted myself into a corner a bit -- tends to happen with rants, don't you find? -- and I thought I'd worry away a bit more at the word's potential, with the plentiful diversion of these photos taken on a hike Pater and I took up a mountain last week. In fact, I might even use the photos of our climb up the Sea to Summit Hiking Trail (near Squamish, BC, about an hour's drive from our Vancouver apartment) to illustrate my thinking.
|The gondola passed over the hiking trail in a few places -- you can see the slope's steepness by following those cable lines.|
|Another indication of the trail's steepness -- this was a brief descent as we worked our way around a bluff. The trail squeezes between those trees, feet having to find purchase from rock to rock, knees following in protest. . .|
|A deceptively tranquil pool between waterfalls -- danger lurks in the temptation to clamber across those rocks. Hikers and dogs have been known to slip and fall -- the next photo suggests why that is best avoided. . .|
|This bluff terrified me in its steepness -- falling off it would require calling in rescue teams, helicopters . . . and Pater always seems far too comfortable near what I think of as its edge and he insists is metres from. . .|
|Me, moving with some trepidation to pose closer to the edge than I'm comfortable...|
And if the recent bandying about of the word "Badass" to signal strong women might have had anything to do with that, then I would concede that it's good to have examples that push us to aspire beyond what we see as our natural limitations. But personally, I'd rather be encouraged and supported to tap into my strength and resilience and persistence and endurance. And I'd prefer that encouragement and support to come with healthy dollops of respect for my fears.
That was the approach that got this Fearful Climber to the top last week, exultant and tired. Pater was right: I could do it!
Now about that way-too-steep Gondola ride back down!
|This photo was taken from inside the gondola car, swinging above the mountain as we swooped down the slope. . .I refused to let my fear of heights stop me from enjoying this view|
In that spirit, then, a few questions for you: Despite not considering yourself a Badass (substitute Brave/Tough/Fearless, whatever), what have you been Intrepid or Resolute or Persistent enough to achieve, against your own conviction of personal limitations? And did that happen through another's encouragement and support? Or how about this for those who might be considered Badasses? Do you find the term confining? Would you sometimes prefer to be allowed to speak your fears or your weaknesses? And can anyone make a convincing argument for the more exhortatory kind of leadership, a Bootcamp approach, rather than the gentler encouragement that works better for me?
Meanwhile, it's a beautifully sunny Sunday morning here, summer having finally arrived and settled into Vancouver. . . I'll post this now, but I hope you're all out making the most of a summer weekend (except for my antipodean readers who I will wish a pleasant winter weekend instead). Perhaps you'll find time to read and think and climb the mountain with me tomorrow. Sometimes Monday morning is mountain enough, right?