Thursday, September 23, 2010

adventures in love with kelli!

when i asked if anyone wanted to guest blog for me, one of the first to volunteer was my dearest friend kelli. i was so excited because, although she doesn't have a blog, she is a fantastic writer! in fact, she makes a living out of it as a reporter for the chattanooga times free press! and she whipped up such an adorable post on her adventures in love with another dear friend of mine {holla david!}. :)

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I used to laugh when people asked me if I wanted to go rock climbing. The college I went to is nestled in a valley in Southeastern Tennessee, surrounded by rivers, mountains, caves and all things outdoorsy — so the question was posed frequently. Everyone I knew had an extra harness, some shoes I could borrow — c’mon, Kelli, it’s so much fun. How? How is it fun?! You’re clinging to the side of a sheer rock face 50 feet off the ground, held from a death plummet by a rope and the presumed skill of your belayer.

That thought flashed through my head two days ago as I hung straight-armed from a notch in a rock, my sticky-shoe-clad feet splayed out on either side of me in a desperate attempt to propel my body upward. As I inched my hands toward a better hold, fingers bleeding, tears welling up in my eyes from frustration, my boyfriend and trusty climbing partner, David, told me I just needed to go for it.

"Bounce your whole body up and quickly reach your left hand up to that next hold," he said.

"But I really don’t think I can do that — I’m going to fall," I answered in a shaky voice.

"I’ve got you," he said, giving the rope an extra tug.

So I bit my lip, cursed a little, and went for it.

And I fell. But I didn’t die.

Eventually, with the help of David’s knee — and then his shoulder — I made it to the top of the route. It wasn’t the most graceful climb, but I did it.

That’s one of the things I love best about David. He’s far more adventurous than I am, and being with him is a constant exercise in stepping outside of my comfort zone, trying new things and facing my fears. With him, I’ve learned to rock climb, tried steak that’s still pink, traveled to Asia, gone backpacking, driven across the country in a camper van, bought a road bike, and fallen in love.

Many of those things, especially the last one, I wasn’t sure I’d ever do. I’m fairly self-sufficient, and thus far have figured out how to live my life playing it pretty safe. It’s easier to keep a clean track record that way, and it leaves less room for messing up, doing something imperfectly or making The Wrong Decision.

The thing is, it’s also less fun.

In the last year, I’ve become so much more adventurous in life and in love, and I think I have David to thank for that. Sometimes I need a reminder, but the truth is, I love him more than the security of being careful and not making mistakes.


We’ve got a rock climbing trip planned in a couple of weeks, and although I’m a little anxious, I’m also excited. Somewhere along the line, I fully expect to screw up. But I know David will be there to catch me.