The Climb

“It’s the climb!!!”

That one line of that Miley Cyrus song was in my head on a loop…I don’t know any other words.  What I did know is that I was climbing up a hill covered with snow.  Let me break this down.  I don’t DO “climbing up a hill” and this snow was the most we’ve had in 25 years.

Honestly, to say I was climbing is a stretch.  I was mostly slipping and sliding, with a few full-on belly flops.  This 48-year old woman couldn’t make it happen.  My boots were meant to be cute, not to conquer snow.  I would turn my feet sideways, at the instruction of my husband and slowly….slide….downhill through the snow.

Many, many people – my kids’ friends and their parents, other people we didn’t know – surrounded me.  They were effortlessly climbing up and sledding down the snow-covered hill on boogie boards, cardboard boxes and toboggans made from found material their homes.  I felt like I was in a movie scene where everything slows down and goes silent, except for the sound of my heavy breathing.

I wasn’t even supposed to be on that hill.  Earlier in the day, Sean had to do some work so I sent my boys with my neighbors sledding down the biggest “mount” that Mount Pleasant has to offer – a giant hill at the overpass of I526.

I was sitting on my couch with my Bible praying that the kids would be safe, but have the time of their lives.  I live on the coast of South Carolina and am a “sit in my chair at the beach” kind of person.  In fact, I vehemently doubted the predicted white stuff would come until I was standing in the glorious, puffy cold flakes screaming like a banshee that it was snowing.

I’m not athletic, or as I say, too good in my body.  I know I’m strong, physically.  Like I can lift stuff and help Sean move furniture around and I can walk FOREVER! But an athlete, I am not. To balance or be graceful is just not who I am.  I need to stay firmly on the ground.

As evidenced by our summer trip to the mountains.  My husband and oldest son stepped easily into the river to cross over on the rocks.  I was so excited by the beauty of the mountains that I forgot myself for a hot minute and stepped onto the same rocks and promptly face-planted into the water.  I hoisted myself up and managed to get secured for a bit on a bigger rock and watched my youngest son bust his hiney not long after me.  My heart broke a little for him because I didn’t want him to be like me, unable to do things that require a little bit of confidence in your body.  I wanted him to be free! I watched my husband and older son jump around like gazelles on the algae-covered rocks.  Me and the little one stayed closer to the side of the river.

I am, like my Mama, a known faller.  Just ask my friends, or maybe one of my bosses.  I fell on the deck at the restaurant where I work and he said it looked like I “fell from the sky.” I also did the scorpion fall, you know where your back arches up like a scorpion, while carrying soup in the same restaurant.  Fell at Disney World while exiting “The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Undersea Adventure” and the whole freaking ride shut down.  Disney did not want that kind of potential lawsuit heat.  This is just a small sampling; ask my closest friends and they could lay a fall story on you.

My husband finished work and said, “Let’s go with the boys.”  So I went, and ended up in the snow, getting more and more embarrassed.  I wanted to quit, disappear, and teleport back to my home.

My son’s sweet friend said, “Mrs. Dede, are you ok?”

I said, “Mrs. Dede’s got this,” knowing I didn’t have it at all.

I couldn’t get any traction and was out of breath.  I dropped to my stomach and slid down.  My husband suggested I move down some, and try to climb a shorter distance and walk to the top of the hill.  He was with me the whole time, behind me, acting as a brake to keep my from sliding. In fact, he was holding a cup of coffee, sipping it occasionally, easily maneuvering through this whole ordeal.

But he didn’t leave me.

He wanted me to do it, because he knows me.  He knew I wanted to do it, and join in with the boys.  He knows that weird separation I feel from people, like I just don’t belong all the time and he wanted me to be included.

So he planted himself behind me, pushed me, encouraged me and then pulled me up to the guard rail of the interstate overpass, and I walked to the top with the others and they  were cheering me on, saying to get the “good boogie board with plastic on the bottom.”  I hooked my feet under the rails so I could position myself on the board, and laid down on my stomach and lifted my feet and flew!

It was awesome! Fast and furious!!

I could hear my sweet neighbor screaming, “Yes, Yes!”

I was laughing so hard.  It was a blast.

I started feeling grateful.  Grateful for the physical health that I have…I have all my limbs, I am not diagnosed with a terminal illness, I have strength, and can walk without assistance, I could go on and on.

I felt grateful to get out of my box of not doing things I want to do because of my body, or because of being afraid, or because “I don’t DO climbing up a hill.”

2 Timothy 1:7 says “For God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power, love and of a sound mind.” This year I want to approach each day as I did yesterday. Open to do new things, and welcoming others into my life without fear of rejection or fear of being accepted, because Jesus Christ has already accepted me.  I am beginning to realize that the years are passing very quickly and I want to grab every opportunity for something new with gusto and zest and trusting the Lord with everything!!!!!!

Check out the actual footage of me sliding…2018 is going to be 20-Great-Teen!

7 thoughts on “The Climb”

  1. You are my spirit animal! Yes, don’t we all need to do a little more stepping out of our comfort zones and stepping in our next moments with faith! Loved this piece DeDe!

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  2. I love you!!! You speak to me. I tell my children, if you don’t fall you aren’t doing it right. You only fall when you are pushing yourself; you only grow when you are doing things out of your comfort zone. Fall, get up, laugh and try it again. No one became stronger being comfortable.

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  3. I love you!!! You speak to me. I tell my children, if you don’t fall you aren’t doing it right. You only fall when you are pushing yourself; you only grow when you are doing things out of your comfort zone. Fall, get up, laugh and try it again. No one became stronger being comfortable.

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  4. I pictured you doing this the entire time I read it but the fact that you did it speaks volumes. You have overcome such obstacles the same way Jack will!!!! Love you both more than you know. Keep loving and smiling.

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  5. Dede, I know you as a “faller” from way back… I just love the way you put all of this – I could see you on that hill. You have some hard-fought-and-won wisdom about yourself and your relationships… I love watching and reading about your journey.

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