Excerpt from the chapter “Day 8”:

Later, Wilson told me that he’d finally spotted my weakness, that he watches all of his clients to find out what might trip them up and this was my trip wire—crossing over loose rock. Feeling at first like I’d been found out, I quickly rationalized that I was in expert hands and appreciated that Wilson knew. Now that he knew, I would work to prove it wrong (twisted, I know, but it helped).

I also acknowledged to myself that despite my fear, I had kept going, breathing and stepping carefully. I kept moving forward. I didn’t freeze like I’d done before in Vermont when my son Chip had to hold both of my hands and talk me through a short leap over a two-foot wide drop-to-nothing chasm, or in Zermatt when I had an emotional meltdown crossing an open metal bridge high up on the Matterhorn and had to turn back.

No, not this day and not this place; I’d been allowed to go this far and I knew I was supposed to keep going. And so I did—because we had to cross over it again to return to Lava Tower Camp, and the next day we followed the very same route to get to the new Arrow Glacier Camp.

Face your fears. Because if you don’t, they’ll just keep coming back until you acknowledge them and learn how to live with them.

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