My heart was violently beating. I was so afraid of flying.

Every time I walked in the mountains I jealously looked at the birds soaring above me, and wanted to be just like them, free to spread my wings, to reach the sky.

These birds just didn’t stay in one place. They could wander, be playful and independent, free to see the world, and to enjoy Nature’s wonders.

Here was my opportunity to be like a bird, to reach new heights, and to touch the clouds—if I could overcome my fears and do Ferrata.

But as I looked at the cliffs, the difficult to pass boulders, the many cables, and the other hurdles attached to doing Ferrata, my becoming a true “bird” seemed impossible. I was that scared.

I also knew that a young, inexperienced bird had to be courageous, so I tried to banish all the bad thoughts in my head—the horror movie which had me coming to a very untimely END.

Omiš Dinara Mountain
Ferrata
Omiš Dinara Mountain

But could I really fly? Could I roam over the sea, be a part of Nature, and feel her power?

I didn’t usually have so much self-doubt. I certainly didn’t admit defeat  too often. I liked taking chances—and because the views atop these cliffs overlooking the magical Adriatic Sea were so exhilarating, it was impossible to turn away from the mountain, to refuse this chance to take flight.

So there was no more thinking, no more doubts.

Click!

I would be a bird. Brave and determined.

I hooked up the carbines with steel sites, gazed up at the menacing-looking boulders—and said a quick prayer to God. “Please protect this small bird. Help me fly for the first time. I want to see the world. See oceans and forests. Please watch over me. Help me become fearless.”

So I took my first steps.

I saw the team of climbers, moving, climbing, everyone in line. Led by experienced climbers, we moved toward the mountaintop, even as I kept wondering, “Why am I doing this?”

But I also realized every little bird has to take chances, leave the nest of security and learn to fly, to be free. Sure it meant risking my life, but I couldn’t live my life crippled by fear.

I kept climbing. After digging and burying carbines, I had this new amazing feeling. It was a wondrous surge of energy, electricity, an unqualified sense of FREEDOM. It was a feeling joyously new to me. I was a bird…I was completely alive.

At the summit the pleasures continued. Outstretched before me were glorious green hillsides, the azure Cetina River, and a necklace of coves with alluring white beaches.

The mountain first seemed to be a cluster of rocks, harsh, unfriendly and beyond conquering. But believe me, they are special rocks. They led me to discovering new strength, new resolve, and the faith that I could take risks, overcome mighty obstacles.

So I often return to Omiš Dinara Mountain to feel the wind and to see my fellow birds hovering over me. I wave to them. They make all sorts of happy noises, as if noticing that I too know how to fly. I do!

Like them, I am also free.