Breathe, Release, Shout

by joanabagano

The view from the top was dizzying. I always thought I never had a problem with heights – having grown in a place where I had to live on top of a mountain and jump from platforms as a kid all my life, I felt I was going to be okay – but as I looked from the top, I felt what everyone else must normally feel being thirty feet from the ground. Alright, it wasn’t that high, but on a platform free of any walls, it was pretty scary.

Next thing I knew my body was in a 90-degree position, my trunk perpendicular to my legs. I was holding a rope, learning to release myself and then to stop the fall after. I didn’t know I could let go of all my inhibitions like that, didn’t know I could forget myself and willingly let my body surrender to gravity.

The first few seconds were traumatizing. I just held on to the rope and couldn’t bend myself on the edge of the platform. A hobby such as rappelling makes life more fun, they say.

“Should I let go? Am I really gonna do this?”

“I’m here. I’m supported by all these weird things around my body. I must be safe.”

“Belayer, please!”

Below me, one of my friends held on to the rope I was on. He casually encouraged me to keep calm and have trust. And let go.


The feeling was liberating, like your heart is having its spring cleaning as air enters your lungs and gets released at once. Gravity makes life more fun, I dare say.

I learned to let go so I can rappel and finally declare that it could be done. As with all surrender, pain and hesitation come running after you in the beginning. They will try to catch up with your doubting mind and trick it into believing that you can’t let yourself go. As you run farther away, each footfall clearing a side of your head, you will become faster and faster. You will confidently bend on that edge of the platform, hold on to that rope and release it together with all your doubts and hesitations.


They will see how you go and they will know that sometimes, letting go makes life more fun. It’s not fun in itself but wait until you’ve done it – it will save you hours of countless self-doubting, at least and at best.