A few weeks ago, my toddler was playing in the backyard when fell over, as toddlers often do, and hit his head, as toddlers often do, requiring a trip to the emergency room and five staples in his skull, as your toddler hopefully never will.
As a result, I am terrified to let him go into the backyard ever again.
I need to take lessons from Mike Schneiter, who is a lot more fearless than I am. Mike is the father of 10-year-old Selah, who recently became the youngest person to ever climb the “nose route” of the famous El Capitan cliff in Yosemite National Park.
That’s right, the 10-year-old girl is a mountain climber, like her parents, who’ve been climbing the 3,000 foot El Capitan for years. But even she is shocked at her accomplishment.
“I just can’t believe I just did that,” Schneiter told CBS Sacramento. “Our big motto was ‘How do you eat an elephant?’ Small bites. One pitch at a time…one move at a time…one day at a time.”
It was a special trip for Mike and Selah, not because of her record-breaking climb, but because the pair were together.
“We got to hang out together spend some time on ledges just relaxing…talking about the world…talking about life,” Mike said.
The pair was joined by Mark Reiger, Mike’s best friend, and the three made the climb over the course of five days. Mark was as excited by their accomplishment as Selah.
“It was just a huge undertaking and there was just a big emotional release for me at the end that we actually did it,” he said.
When they made it to the top, Selah cried tears of joy at what she’d achieved.
“Is that your first happy cry?” her dad asked.
“Yeah, I just can’t believe I just did that,” she answered.
After the magnitude of her feat sank in, Selah celebrated with a slice of pizza and vows to teach her 7-year-old brother the ropes next summer.