My sons and I recently took a rock climbing class up in the Idyllwyld near Tahquitz Rock. Our guide, Bob Gaines, is the owner of Vertical Adventures rock climbing school. Bob is a little older than me, and has been climbing and teaching climbing for many, many years. He trained Sylvester Stallone for the film Cliffhanger, and was the climbing double for William Shatner in Star Trek V (the scene where Kirk is scaling some shear granite face — as if!).
I was surprised by how safe rock climbing is — or can be. If you “fall,” your belayer keeps you from falling more than a foot or two.
In spite of the safety, there is still an exhilaration in climbing. I didn’t want to fall, even though I knew I wasn’t in mortal danger. I was determined to push myself upward and stretch beyond what I previously felt comfortable attempting.
Life, lived well, is much the same. Find someone who will be there to keep you from falling, and you are free to push yourself to new heights.