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.
The sun was falling from the sky. Once it dropped below the hills, all light and warmth would disappear. The clouds were chameleons: yellow, pink, and purple. Somewhere a bird twittered.
An icy wind crept into my jacket. I shivered. Beyond the edge of the mountain, a silhouette was standing far below. “Just remember what I said,” my friend 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 get down and get warm. Continue reading