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How to Overcome Your Abseiling Fears
Rappelling down a rocky cliff or raging waterfall can be both thrilling and scary. Standing on the edge and taking the first step might be the hardest.
Any rational and natural human instinct to prevent a potential fall materializes. Almost too instantly, you feel the urge to turn around and retrace your steps. It gets worse once you’re hanging from a rope held down by a few metal clips, 100 feet off the ground. All the deadly disasters imaginable come to mind when you depend on a harness as your lifeline.
It’s a dimension of the extreme sports experience, a premise that any enthusiast would immediately adopt. But for someone trying abseiling for the first time, all of these unsettling possibilities can almost be too much to handle.
Abseiling is a great and fun sport that participants can enjoy as young as 6 years old. Avoidable human errors are the main contributor to abseiling accidents. If you’re up for the challenge of abseiling, here are some tips and tricks to overcome the great fear that’s rising inside you.
- A self-assessment if you are really up for the activity. Avoid being coerced or pressured into doing so. You should WANT to do it.
- Learn more about the sport you want to practice. The internet is a very powerful tool and will give you the facts you need to know about abseiling. Familiarize yourself with the process, the equipment and the people involved. This way you will better understand how things work and be as safe as possible.
- Familiarize yourself with people who have practiced the sport. The information and first-hand experience will prove beneficial as you pursue your abseiling quest.
- Go with a group of friends or relatives. This is where the courage of numbers applies.
- To ease your qualms, look for a certified rappel instructor. Summer camps are popular places to find such professionals.
- Trust the guide and your equipment. From your previous research, you have surely come across safety checks and equipment precautions. Be sure to listen to your guide’s instructions. Don’t be afraid to ask or question things and procedures you doubt. The fear of asking is a phobia that abseiling does not help you overcome.
- Take small steps. As a beginner you will probably start on a fairly small rock face ranging from 60 to 75 feet in elevation. Despite the qualms you had before the first rappel, rappelling will surely keep you coming back for greater heights.
After preparing yourself mentally for this exhilarating activity, the next step will be physical preparation. Nothing fancy and intense, just as you sign up for the abseiling adventure, remember to disclose any past and current medical conditions so you can be carefully assessed for your eligibility to participate in the sport . As much as you can, empty your bladder before abseiling as there is no pitstop on the way down.
Everything ready now? Take a deep breath and enjoy the experience of a lifetime.
By the way, keep your eyes open, the view is just breathtaking!
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