seriously. or at least, get badly hurt.
we were doing belaying exercises in mil sci, and it was my turn to be belayed. when you’re being belayed, you get suspended in the harness, let go of the rope and put your hands on your nape, and do pretty much nothing. your belayer below is responsible for bringing you down safely.
among all the rappelling exercises we’ve done, i find being belayed the scariest, because you have no control. you put your life in the hands of your belayer. letting go of the rope, letting go of all control and responsibility is really really scary.
and i got really really scared today because i almost fell down the rappelling tower.
i was hanging up there, waiting to be brought down by my belayer, when i suddenly felt myself falling–fast. i remember only the feeling of leaving my stomach up the tower, thinking about nothing but shit, i’m falling! and screaming my tonsils out. it’s a strange feeling, what i felt while i was falling. i wasn’t thrilled, i wasn’t nervous, i wasn’t even scared. i just felt sort of–empty. like screaming took away all feeling and left only the dead consciousness that i was falling.
my groupmates up the tower later told me how shocked they were when one moment, i was hanging near the top, and the next, i was gone. they told me they panicked because of how i screamed; when they peered down the tower, they expected to see me splayed on the ground, unconscious, with my bones broken. but it’s a good thing that i managed to scream, because my belayer said it was what jumpstarted her senses.
apparently, my belayer let go of the rope. i dunno what she was thinking, she loosened her grip on the thing! by the time she caught it again, i was four-fifths down the tower. i dunno how high i fell, but the tower is about as high as an overpass. grabe lang, when i got down, i cried. the jitters only caught up with me after i got down. it came late, but it was overwhelming–at least, for a while (about half an hour later, i was rappelling and getting belayed again, but by somebody else). i remembered what i said yesterday about wanting more thrill, because rappelling was starting to get a little boring. well, i got the thrill i wanted alright, but i don’t want any more thrills like that anytime soon.
still, i think it’s a good experience. you don’t get to nearly die everyday, after all. at least, i wasn’t hurt much; i just got a rope burn on my arm. when, several minutes later, my belayer still wasn’t stopping her flood of i’m-so-sorry’s, i told her, "it’s okay, really. at least you gave me something interesting to blog about."