I recently took my practice lead fall in rock climbing! I did the practice lead fall in class about a year ago, and it was a lot of fun. I thought it was going to be so easy compared to last year, when I was freaking out before letting myself fall.
But this time, I still freaked out before I fell. It's a mind thing, similar to a roller coaster - you know you'll be fine, be safe, have fun, and experience the adrenaline rush. When it's over you want to do it again!
The climb up was easy. The instructor belayed me and we used a sturdy lead rope. I was familiar with the simple route. However, when I got up to the last clip, the adrenaline started to kick in. Nervous adrenaline. It took about a minute and a half for me to actually let go. It was one of those things where I told my fingers to release, but they still held tight.
Here's the video - it's slightly (very) embarrassing during my freakout, but if you want to see the fall, go to 3:47!
On the way up, I was thinking Oh, this is so easy. When I was at the point where I was about to fall? Little shrieks of EEeeeEeeeEee and sounds that didn't even sound like me escape from my mouth! Protesting no, no, no! and I don't like this part! were little excuses that factored into my fear of falling. Then came a slight shriek during the fall followed by exciting adrenaline and the desire to do it all over again. Then I say "and it's all on video" and am weirded-out watching it because it's weird hearing what my voice sounds like on camera.
Nevertheless, I did it! I'm excited to do more lead climbing, now that I've done the practice fall!