Alright guys, it’s story time. You might think the story is kind of long, but bear with it, because I make a kind of good comparison at the end.
Two weeks ago me and three of my friends went caving. Imagine the sketchiest thing you have ever done…then multiply it by 10 and you will be close to how sketchy this was. You’d think there might be a sign pointing out where this cave is located, since it is back in the woods on a property, but nope. You just have to know the house. After finding this house, which took about two hours of backroad driving, you proceed up to the front porch. Their you will find a man me and my friends appropriately deemed Crazy Eyes. He sits on his old rocker with his chew and makes pay 5 dollars (for parking) and you sign your name on a waiver he has clipped to the top of an ancient clipboard. This waiver is written on a napkin. Once that is completed you hop back in your car and drive down a gravel road through a forest. Eventually you will reach an open gravel lot where you can park. From there you proceed into the forest via a dirt path. Soon you will reach the cave’s mouths. There are two: Upper and Lower.
Now this cave is dangerous, especially for a group of inexperienced teenagers. The rocks, and I mean every single one of the rocks, is coated in slick mud. We knew the cave was muddy so of course we didn’t bring shoes with excellent traction, we brought crap shoes we’d be willing to throw away. So of course we were slipping everywhere during the few hours we were in the cave.
I remember specifically one point where I hand my hand on the wall steadying myself. I put one foot forward only to have it slide right back in place, then attempted the same thing with the other foot with the same result. I panicked and began moving my feet faster only to have them slide back in place. At this point its diffucult to stop. You have to keep involuntarily running in place. You have to take your hand off the wall, calm down, and trust that you wont fall in order to move forward.
Yesterday I began thinking about this sensation and realizing that it is a lot like trying to break out of your comfort shell. You try to take that step, you try to further yourself, but you get nowhere. Progress is impossible, or so it seems. Truthfully, you can progress, but you have to take your hand off the wall and hope to God you don’t fall. The rock wall is the only thing your certain about, the only thing your comfortable with. You know you won’t get hurt if your hand is on that wall, but neither can you progress farther into the beauty of the cave. The risk is tremendous, but the reward can be greater still. You can either stay at that rock, content in your safety, content to stay looking at the rocks around you. Or you can risk it all. You can leave the safety of your rock, knowing that you may fall and hurt yourself, knowing that it is dangerous, but knowing something far more majestic and amazing then what you can see may just be around the corner if you just have the guts to move forward and check. It is scary, but its not impossible. All you have to do is try.