Back in August, 2017 I joined a mountain-guide and 5-other people to hike up Scafell Pike. I wasn't quite expecting the mountain to be a technical and mental challenge.
Our guide took us off the beaten track, which was stunning, the scenery was spectacular. It felt be good to be alive.
Half-way up the side of the mountain, we had to climb up rocks, and down again, where there was a deep ravine on the other side. Our guide went first and guided each one of us down the steep rocks to ensure we stayed safe.
I was the first out of the group to tackle the rocks, the guide suggested we go down backwards. My heart was in my mouth, and in my head I was repeating "I can't do this" and payed little attention to the guide. I knew that if I stayed in my head I would have to abandon the hike, which of course would not have been be fair to the other people in the group. Momentarily I was scared and not wanting to be there.
I was aware the guide was talking to me calmly, but I wasn't listening. I was no longer 'present.' Somehow something clicked and I started listening to the guide. I knew I had to stay focused and listen to what the guide was saying to stay safe. He was the expert and I was the pupil.
The guide wanted me to go to the left of the rocks. My problem was I didn't want to go to the left as thats where the ravine was, but to the right the rocks were steeper and more technical. If I didn't start to trust myself to trust the guide I was going to get into trouble. The guide sensed my fear/anxiety and literally took my feet and guided them down the steep-rocks on the left-side. Heart beating wildly my feet somehow were now on the narrow footpath.
One-by-one the guide got us all down safely and we continued on our journey. 3-hours later we reached the summit, which blew me away, the visibility was crystal clear with views out to the Isle of Man. It felt like we were on top of the world.
Hiking down now on the other side of the mountain wasn't a piece of cake, it took courage and focus, but there was no ravine this time.
Our guide took 5-strangers up and down a mountain, his expertise and knowledge kept us all safe. He was a gift from heaven!
In my 7.5-hour journey of hiking up and down Sacfell Pike it was probably the most scariest, yet most exhilarating thing I've ever done. I still get goose-bumps thinking what I achieved.
After that experience I have the utmost respect for clients who say "I have a fear of the water." With guidance and focus you too can face your fears and be the swimmer you've always wanted to be.
"Courage doesn't mean you don't get afraid, courage means you don't let fear stop you"