Inner Peace While Climbing An 80 Foot Wind Tower

All year, my husband John and his colleagues have worked diligently on building an innovative new wind turbine. A couple weeks ago … while wine-tasting, we decided it was time for the “wives” to come see where our husband’s have been toiling.

I’ve heard stories about the wind tower swaying in the wind, 100+++ degree temperatures in the desert, and the 80 foot ladder climb in a safety harness. Honestly, it all sounded a bit treacherous. After all, I’ve seen the cuts, gouges and grease accompanying each trip from the desert.

As plans formed, Janet declared that SHE wanted to climb the wind tower. My heart skipped a beat. Gulp!

I’ve done my share of rope courses and “flying on the trapeze” – but that was in the context of a group activity. I could have passed … but my ego wanted to do it IF Janet was going for it. Besides, it would make for interesting photos for my ezine, right?!

So we all met at the wind tower.

Check out this video of what it was like out there in the wind as we prepare to climb HERE.

After seeing the wind turbine run, we harnessed up Janet first. Clark went up first … then Janet (Only two people are allowed up at any one time.)

By now, I was getting psyched up. I WAS going to do this.

Janet finally made it up – and down … which took awhile because it’s equally exhausting to climb down 80 feet. Even on her last 10-15 feet down, she kept saying, “I DON’T RECOMMEND you do this! It was SO HARD! It takes so much upper body strength!”

Her shins were bloodied. She was sweaty. Large grease splotches all over her clothes told the story. AND, the sun was going down quickly …

There was only a moment to decide … and I went for it – as my heart raced. (When would I get this opportunity again?!)

I climbed one step at a time … as quickly as I could through the dark tower. Here’s the first photo I snapped when I somehow made it through the small opening at the top – to greet Clark.

Here’s a short video of me at the top. I’m actually sitting on the part the gigantic blades are attached to – the part that spins. It was pretty surreal to say the least.

The sun was now down, so after 10 minutes of taking in the view…and looking at my ant-like friends on the ground, it was time to head back down.

The climb down was even more challenging. It was a good workout on the way UP. But, on the way down, you have to keep adjusting the safety harness, or it locks in place and you can’t move. That means hanging onto the ladder with ONE hand. And, I was pretty spent from the climb up – because I was moving as fast as I could (didn’t want to miss the sunset – or keep my friends waiting for hours). It was A LOT of work.

Both on the way up – and the way down – I found myself squarely focused on the very inner peace principles I speak so much about. Here they are …

1. Breathing. Especially as I got higher and higher, and my nerves started kicking in… I engaged my breath. DEEP breath in …. and WHHOOOOOOO! (Deep breath out.) A fabulous inner peace practice at 70+ feet! Or anywhere.

2. Present Moment Awareness. I wasn’t focusing on all 80 steps at a time. I wasn’t focusing on how many steps I’d done or how many were left. I wasn’t focusing on falling to my death. I WAS focusing  ONLY on where I was at any given moment – and the step I was taking.

3. “All is well.” It’s easy to freak out when safety harnesses are involved. Yet, instead, I kept being present with the truth of “All is Well” – in each moment. I was safe. I kept checking in with myself and that statement … “All is well.”  And sure enough, in every moment, I could find the truth of that statement. This is true whether we’re 80 feet up or walking on the ground. (unless jaguars or criminals are about to attack!)

4. Keep It Moving. I sure found it easier to keep on moving instead of starting and stopping and starting and stopping. The few times I did stop, I’d start noticing my sore muscles, and it seemed to take three times the energy to take the next step. When I kept the rhythm going – it just seemed easier. I find this principle applies well in life … taking it ONE foot at a time.

5. Listen Well. Sometimes when we’re the most stressed, we’re the least open and able to listen to other’s good tips, or to our own intuition. Good listening is a clear and sane response to reality. By listening intently to Clark’s every direction, wedging through the opening at 80 feet, was relatively easy. I also listened to John’s tips for the climb down … which helped a lot! When we listen well to others and ourselves (i.e. intuition), we increase our everyday inner peace.

6. “I can do this.” It’s useful to focus on the truth of this statement. .. whether you’re at 30 feet, 45 feet, or simply pursuing your goal on the ground. This kept me focused on completing the task at hand. It’ll work for you too.

7. Rest When Needed. As much as I wanted to go non-stop “bottom to top” and “top to bottom”, the reality was that I needed to rest a few times. Honoring the body in these moments serves us well and supports our inner peace.

When I finally made it back to the bottom, my arms were shaking from exhaustion – and my heart was beating fast! Here’s a quick ‘post-climb’ video I shot with my friend Shanda.

What an adventure it was. Not without a few warrior bruises lining the underside of my arms, a couple scratches, and … yep, lots of grease on my clothes!

But, all the sore muscles and aches and pains were well worth the climb.

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