Ten years ago today (January 25, 2003), I fell 80 feet (24 meters) while rock climbing at T-Wall, a popular climbing site in Tennessee. The doctors said I might not live; when I did, they said I’d never be the same again. Today, not only am I “normal,” most people don’t even know this incident ever happened. This is my story.
T-Wall (image: flickr.com)
The sun was falling from the orange sky. Once it dropped below the hills, all light and warmth would disappear. The clouds were chameleons: yellow and pink and purple. Somewhere a bird twittered.
An icy wind crept into my jacket. I shivered. Beyond the edge of the mountain, my friend was standing far below. “Just remember what I said,” he called.
Just remember what he said.
I took a deep breath and leaned back. My harness cut into my jeans. I couldn’t feel my fingers.
Grab the rope. Loosen the rope. Hop, hop; braaake.
I looked at the complicated system of ropes and carabiners before me, then at the small tree the ropes were attached to up above. Here we go. All I wanted was to go home and go to bed. Continue reading