|The Observation Tower in Parry Sound|
The first time we visited Parry Sound in 2006, hubby was fascinated with this tower and, of course, had to climb up. Just looking at it sent waves of panic cascading along the neural routes of my body. I felt fear in my legs, my stomach. There was no way I was even going to think of it. At that time.
I actually thought at that time that at no time would I ever think of climbing that tower, but eventually I came to a point in my recovery when I felt ready to take on and overcome my fears.
I remember the first time, I tried. I bounded up it alone - and made it up two flights before the fear took over. There was no way I could go up any further. I was paralyzed by fear. Unable to go up - or down. I was stuck.
Hubby came up and rescued me. Took my hand. Helped me down.
However, my analytical took over and I decided to try it again. The next time we went to Parry Sound, I was determined to try it again - and this time to conquer my fear.
You see, the tower is just a structure. There's really nothing it can do to me. There's really nothing to fear about it - except fear itself.
|At the first or second landing on the way up this time around. Beautiful view, eh?|
It was as much a test of faith in my hubby as it was conquering my fears.
As I went up the structure, fearsome step by fearsome step, I encouraged myself by saying "There's nothing to fear except fear itself" and "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" (Philippians 4:13). Hubby encouraged me all the way. When I would cry out and say, "I can't." He would calmly say: "You can."
He encouraged me that first time to stop at each landing and take pictures. Not to rush. To take it slowly one step at a time with him constantly at my side encouraging me onwards and upwards.
There were other people walking up and down the tower steps that day. One particular duo has always stuck in my mind. These two ladies were using the tower as their personal stepmaster - racing up, then down, then up again. I cannot recall how many times these ladies passed us in both directions. I envied them. Both their fitness and their ability to go up and down those steps like it was nothing. No fear.
As they passed us multiple times in both directions, we developed a bit of a camaraderie. Another component to my personal cheerleading squad.
Man, I wished I was like those two ladies.
|Overlooking the harbour area|
|From the top, the former marine research vessel we saw at ground level the day before. Behind it the Island Queen 30,000 island tour vessel|
But I'm not one to stop there. I wanted to thoroughly and completely conquer the fear. So, we went up it again. Not that trip. But the next. Each time we come to Parry Sound, going up the Observation Tower became a priority. A marker in my journey of recovery.
Each time has gotten slightly easier. Slightly less fear. Needing less encouragement. I've done it before, I can do it again. There's nothing to fear except fear itself.
So this time, I outlined my plan A with hubby. We agreed that he would walk beside me to be there - just in case - but not holding my hand unless I initiated it. I made it up the first few flights easily. However, as we got progressively higher, I felt the challenge more and more.
He encouraged me by pointing above us to a wooden structure and saying we were almost at the top which kept me going several more flights. However, if you look at the picture below, you will see that there is a platform around the staircase several flights below the summit of the tower. That is as far as I got by self. Yet, it was a victory in, and of, itself. For the first time, I had made it up that high without aid. It was not a defeat. It was simply a partial victory.
|At the bottom, one happy camper|
Another victory on my road to recovery.