Upon much debate on “what to do,” my boyfriend and I decided we would explore a local state park. We settled on St. Croix State Park near Hinckley, MN. Upon entering the park, I purchased a Minnesota State Parks annual pass, a first in my lifetime.
After reading the map and setting out on our way through the miles upon miles of roads in the park, we eventually decided to visit the fire tower inside the park. At first glance, a sane person might determine it was much too high to attempt. Unfortunately, we weren’t sane at the moment and thought we’d give it a try.
The climb up the tower wasn’t as bad as I expected, but I suspect the exercising I’d done over the past week helped immensely. When we arrived on the third platform from the top of the tower, we stopped to consider whether we should continue all the way to the top or not. Again, we went for it, but one at a time, as you can feel the vibrations in the tower when people are climbing the stairs.
He made it to the top for a brief moment, then descended back to the platform where I was waiting. It was now my turn to continue to the top. Upon reaching the summit, I forced myself to look straight down, which caused my stomach to drop. It was frightening, as I usually cannot climb a short ladder for fear of falling. But, I took a deep breath and started my descent to ground level.
I have to admit that the descent was much worse, as you are forced to look down. Being that the sides of the tower are protected only by chicken wire, one’s mind displays vivid pictures of tumbling down the steps and having the wire give way. Shakily, I told myself to focus on one step at a time and to not stop and think.
When I reached ground level, I found that I was very proud of myself for making it all the way up and then safely down the tower. Even more, I was pleased that I was not winded, the shaking quickly subsided and there was no pain in my muscles. Obviously, the squats and lunges I’ve done over the past week were helping immensely!
In one day I had accomplished a physical feat I didn’t believe myself able to do well, the mental feat of facing my fear of heights, as well as two firsts to add to my collection for 2009!