Once set up, a circle of men and boys was formed and there was the important conversation about safety, supporting others, and no goofing around close to the unprotected edge. The boys listened deep as the men unfolded stories about risks they had taken. Sometimes foolish risks, and then the risks that stretch you, that help you to grow into a larger version of yourself. The men told stories of the times of uncertainty they had faced and how, sometimes, it's important, or even necessary, to push through your fear to do what has to be done. All the while the stories were being told, there were nervous glances across to the launch point and that big step into the deep void that was waiting.
The photos at this slide show link tell the rest of the story. The young guys learned it's the first step into the unknown that was the most difficult, and the ride that followed was exhilarating! As the realization dawned that the system of ropes was indeed safe, and fun, and that the Facebook photos would be great, there was a general leaning into the event. Adolescent bravado returned and grew in those who had made the crossing, and before long the guys were lining up for the second ride. Fun.
After the ropes had been taken down and the site cleaned, we again all sat down to talk about what had happened. The guys realized that somehow, in an afternoon, the canyon had become less threatening, less scary, and smaller in some way. It was attributed to the gear, their confidence in Chris, the support they gave each other, and their own willingness to step out of their comfort zone . . . in this case one BIG step. It wasn't a big stretch to apply those lessons to the life of a boy on the journey toward manhood.
You may not have a twelve story canyon handy or the gift of a good and talented rocks and ropes guy like Chris, but among your group of men friends there is the talent, gear, and possibly the interest in an adventure of some kind waiting. What I'm pretty sure of is in reading this, your inner adolescent got jealous. What I can say without reservation is there are boys in your world who would love to go along on your adventure!
If you have a similar story of a pack of guys on an adventure, please add it to the comment section of this post or send it to me. We'd all like to read another outing story.
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