One of the greatest learning opportunities of the ARC summer immersion course is to be surrounded by a team of supportive peers while pushing through daunting physical challenges. Before participating in the 2012 course in Yosemite, Ana Aguilar hoped to achieve skills and knowledge in both the outdoors and leadership areas, and to have a memorable summer. Part of that memory is to have faced her most extreme fears during the ropes course and climbing/repelling expedition.
Fearful of her inability to pull herself through the obstacles, Ana sobbed and screamed, yet with the strength of the team behind her, she kept climbing upward, kept rappelling downward, and kept moving forward on the ropes course. Ana recalled, while rappelling, “I was so afraid due to my fear of heights. I was dangling in mid air, crying and so full of fear I began to think I couldn’t do this. Everyone was cheering me on so I just pushed myself. Once I reached the bottom I was so happy and proud of myself for what I had just done. There really aren’t any words that come close to the amazing feeling I had.”