Chris P.

I used to be a medium-level rock climber with two years of experience. I was at the climbing gym and preparing to go for my first warming-up route; an easy route. Due to this, I didn’t check the top-rope I was using. It wasn’t clipped to the safety anchor, so when I reached the top at 9 meters high (approximately 30 feet), I pushed the wall to start descending. Instead, I had a free fall to the wooden floor without a mattress. The fall lasted less than 2 seconds, however it felt like it was much longer. I had the time to feel. I panicked when I heard the rope slipping and then me falling. I realized what had happened and then I accepted it.

I remember telling myself, ’This is it!’ Instantly, I felt very comfortable with this. I totally relaxed my body while I was watching the wall. There were colorful footholds, as in a rainbow. It was like the same picture you have when you are travelling in a fast train, only in vertical form. Then, there was the impact! It ruined the peaceful feeling I had.

I landed on my hip and it seemed like I felt my brain hitting my scalp. For a split of a second, everything went black. I didn’t feel any pain. When I came back to consciousness, I checked that I could move my feet and then I tried to get up; this was the point that I felt enormous pain because I broke a vertebra in my back. Luckily, there was a doctor at the gym and he forced me to stay down while waiting for the ambulance to come. Even though I was in pain, I was smiling and making jokes. A few minutes before, I was certain that I would be dead and had come to peace with this option.

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