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Doing something you've never done before

Posted By Mary C. Reiley, Monday, February 2, 2015

Doing Something You’ve Never Done Before

A few weeks ago my husband and I did two things we have never done before. 

First, we repelled into, swam in, and the hard part – climbed back out of a cenote up a four story, free hanging, slippery, rope and wood ladder. Yes, we had the option of being “elevatored” back out via the repel lines, but where is the challenge in that?  At about two stories my biceps started to burn and by the time I pulled myself out of the hole they were shaking.  The last ten feet required complete focus: foot over foot -- push-up, hand over hand – pull up. Thank goodness for a lifetime of sport and fitness training!!  The cenote was amazing.  Bats hung above us from the ceiling of the cave, occasionally taking flight from one side to the other.  Vine-trees, I can’t think of a better way to describe them, stood like shredded pillars from water to ceiling.  Where the light hit, the water was emerald.  Where it didn’t, it was black.  I’ve tried spelunking once before – not my thing.  Too close. Too disorienting. This was completely different. Cavernous and eeriely grotto-like.  It was a new perspective on Earth.

Second, we climbed and descended Nahoch Mul pyramid in Coba. The archeological guide informed us that the steps of Nahoch Mul were built so that as the ancient Mayan climber ascended, each step was a bow to the gods.  They are tall narrow steps.  This time it was the descent that was, uh, distressing.  I’m not particularly scared of heights.  But this was something like being an occasional skier finding herself at the top of the triple diamond hill with only one way down!  No handrail, no zig-zag, no safety harness (no gondola).  Nothing between you and a very direct trip down 138 feet.   The view from the top was spectacular and the descent was worth it.  But, I took my sweet time one uneven, slippery, deep step at a time.  It was a great adventure!

I’m back home. Safe and sound. Doing something else I’ve never done before – leading a nearly 3,000 member scientific society.  Not that I do it alone.  More about that in my next blog.  

Here's hoping each of us is on a great adventure of our own,


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Tags:  SETAC-NA President  Stretching 

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Barbara T. Walton says...
Posted Tuesday, February 3, 2015
How exciting...on all three counts!! Congratulaltions! = : D
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