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Dean Whitbread 2013

Dean Whitbread 2020

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Written on March 9, 2010, and categorized as Secret and Invisible.
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I’m told that I’m quite brave. Certainly I am socially unafraid. However, I did spend a week climbing Cornish sea cliffs once, which I loved, except I forgot to pull out the climbing gear, and being the last one up, I had to go back down the overhang I had just overcome, pull out the gear, then make the ascent once more, leaning backwards, the sea crashing on jagged rocks 150 feet beneath me. I managed it.

There was a line of fit people all with their back against the rock, faces in Easter sunshine, looking at the spectacular Atlantic view. I slumped next to them, shattered.

“Beautiful isn’t it?” said the climb leader. I felt nothing, and burped.

“Why am I risking my life?” I thought coldly, “what macho foolishness is this?”

Then I felt afraid, not from the height, or the physical fear, but for the fact that only then I saw how I was falling into the trap of macho achievement.

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