I have been asked, and the other CXC ladies also sometimes get asked “So, did Missy pass her lead test yet?” And that’s because if you were reading our site back in the earlier days you might be familiar with these posts (rants): Lead Test Pt. 1 and Lead Test Pt. 2. If not, I’ll explain the gist of it. In Part One, I’m psyching myself up to take my lead test, and in Part Two, I psych myself out of taking my lead test. Well, flash forward 6 months later to last night, and I was finally ready. I felt confident, I felt strong, and I finally felt more excited than terrified (still a little bit terrified, not gonna lie). As I reflect back on the progression of the past 6 months, I see that a lot of things have gone into me getting ready to finally do this stupid thing (and I say stupid not to belittle my accomplishment, I’m psyched, but I am aware that in the grand scheme of things it’s just a test). Certainly there was training, and getting stronger, and learning, and re-learning and practicing lead climbing techniques and safety. But I think the biggest shift is that I have gone from saying, “I should do more lead climbing” (which got me no where but feeling bad about myself) to saying, “I want to do more lead climbing.” The move from the hypothetical “should” to the active, reality of “want” was born out of a shift in my internal motivation, which lead to committed action. It had to come from within me, not from outside. I forget and am reminded all the time that people make changes when they are ready, and I am no different. I need to be patient and trusting with my own process of being ready, not compare myself to other people, and find a balance between preparation and risk-taking. So anyway, readers, all that is to say, WOO HOO!!!! It feels good to finally be ready to lead climb!