Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Part 2: Overcoming Fear And Pain

When I got onto the bus for an “Empowerment Training Camp” I never would quite realise how sorely I'd miss my camera. I thought it would be better not to take it, given that we were prepped with rucksacks and told we wouldn't get any phone network in the place we were going to. 

I go there, expecting only adventure. That’s when we met Dilip, our trainer. When I saw him I kind of thought he was hiding behind his massive white mustache and long white hair that he would tie neatly in a ponytail. And that he must be just a young guy inside an old guy’s paraphernalia. Then he started talking about his credentials, how he has a phd in clinical psychology and a very long list of other impressive things and I’m thinking “oo so this is going to be a and-how-do-you-feel-about-that kind of experience” and I start to even look forward to it.

Then the rain came. And for the next four fucking days that I stayed in that place it never stopped. I literally had wet pants wet shirts wet everything that I would have to wear because yeah fucking raincoats we were given? Was no match for the torrential stuff the rains were made of.

Dilip took us through many ideas and concepts of a team and leadership, and just when I was beginning to feel all comfy, he sets us a task that puts our dinner at stake. We lose it. We lose our dinner. And you know what happens the very next day after skipping dinner? We trek up rough terrain to the very top of the camp site, on nothing but oxygen to keep us going. 

But the view?

Yeah, that will stay with me. 


Then Dilip tells us he has this crazy simple task for us: each of us have to climb up this swingy rope ladder to a this tall-ass tree, blow a fucking whistle and find our way back to the ground. 


tree climbing
something like this except a lot more screaming,and my juniors actually climbed it with that fucking monkeys! I wish I could just stand and stare at it though. It was poetic to say the least. 

The tree looked creepy. Everything looked creepy. And I started hyperventialting. 

I sucked at it. I kept slipping off the  ladder footings. Did I tell you it was raining the whole time this climbing thing happened? Yeah. So I gave my all to finally get to the minimum number of steps I needed to climb to not get the entire team disqualified. So nineteen people staring up at me, watching me mess the shit out of myself and counting on me, no pressure at all


Funny thing though: ever since then? I stopped caring about hurting myself. I came back to my tent and saw that my thighs were black and blue from the harness, my arms were sore, I felt like I'd been beaten up bad and I was drenched to the fucking core....and I was alive, despite everything, despite feeling like my arms were dead. And that if I moved them an inch even, I was going to cry. But I didn't. They were fine the next day: when we built our own raft to float on the lake nearby...and when we had to do push-ups everytime we used words like "dude" and similar such lingo. 

Empowerment camp has highlighted things I'd never thought I'd be lacking in...sometimes I feel like I'm all words..I don't follow up on things...I feel like a pompous fucking joker.I need to change that perception of myself. I need to be better for me. 

Dilip also spoke about something important at the very end when we got our war tags,("yes we can") :) and he told us that being defensive about people around us is never going to get us anywhere. He said that somebody may have caused a lot of hurt in our own life...but to treat everybody else like they would do the same  would be being very unfair to the new people you meet in your life. 

I've been thinking a lot about this...about how defensive I've been because somebody fucked up my childhood for's not fair. I haven't been fair. At all. 

Let's do this. 

Let's be fair. 

To myself. 

And To Everyone else. 


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