Blood Will Tell

Is it better to have tried and failed then never to have tried at all?

Is it better to have tried and failed than to have never tried at all?

My husband and his friend had passes to climb Mt. St. Helens (the volcano) Thursday. But his friend couldn't go. I said, "Well, 2015 is my year of risk. While I'm not a big hiker, I'll do it." Reasons this was a bad idea:
1. I really, really don't like heights. I don't even like to change lightbulbs in our house with 10-foot high ceilings.
2. What I thought a boulder field was (a field with a few boulders that you could hike around) turned out not to be anywhere near reality (incredibly steep piles of boulders you had to climb over, and more importantly, climb back down). We spent at least six hours on it.
3. I just got out of my cast on Monday (although I was cleared to go)
4. I have almost no cartilage in both knees.
5. Did I mention the height thing?

Things I said to myself on the way up:
1. Just look at your feet.
2. You can do it!
3. Psalm 23.
4. Pretend it's WWII and you're fleeing the Nazis over the Alps with your baby on your back.
5. Feel the fear and do it anyway.

Things I said to myself on the way back down:
1. You probably won't die. If you're lucky. Maybe.
2. Sweet Jesus.
3. If someone offered to give you a ride in helicopter right now, how much would you pay? (answer: probably $5,000)
4. That rock just came loose in your hand and now you have nothing to hold onto and will probably die.

Some people (much, much younger people) were happy mountain goats who thought nothing of stepping three feet down onto some tippy, crumbling rock.

Not me.

But hey, I had 25 years on nearly everyone else. And while we didn't summit, I emerged without any major injuries.

It's brave to do something you're afraid to do. Therefore you are brave. I am not. It's that height thing. No thank you.
I was actually mostly just stupid because I did not research what the hike actually entailed. I should have known better. So while I did face some fears going up, I pretty much succumbed to flat-out terror going down.