August 17th, 2006


Planet Rock Climbing

I went rock climbing this evening with dagibbs, and it was so much fun!! I haven't been climbing in years.

Let's see... it must have been 2001 when I last went climbing, by my last recollection. Needless to say I was a little bit rusty. Okay, a LOT rusty. Fortunately my membership card there was still valid.

It turns out that wednesdays are Crank Night! I don't know what that means, except that ladies get half off their day pass, and they stay open an hour later. Both admirable things to celebrate on Crank Day.

David and I had a delightful time! We both had a quick refresher with an instructor, to make sure we could tie ropes and belay there, which we passed with ease. Then it was time to start climbing! We started with a nice easy wall, and both uf us ascended it rapidly.

From there we moved on to a variety of challenges, climbed a bunch of the easier-seeming walls. David generally tried to follow a specific route, in order to challenge himself more. He did a good job, and he took on some impressive-looking walls! Maybe he didn't conquor the most impressive-looking walls, but he gave them a valient effort.

Me, I just "climbed the wall" instead of following a path laid out, grabbing whichever handhold or foothold looked most useful. I had fun. I enjoyed trying to find the strength and contortions required to conquor the next few feet of wall above me.

I got to the top of most of my climbs. Well, except on. I frowned at it from below. "It looks like it starts nice and easy, but look there's an inversion at the top there!"

An inversion is where the wall leans at an angle toward you, instead of being vertical or gently sloped away.

David studied it and said, "No, it's an optical illusion. See, how this wall is verifical, and it lines up?"

I figured "Oh what the heck." What's the worst that can happen? I can't make it up, I fall, and David belays me gently back down to the ground. No problem. "Okay, I'll give it a shot."

The climb started out really easy, seriously ladder-like. Then as I got higher, the holds got trickier and smaller and more spread out. Then I reached the "vertical". And I leaned back, clinging with my fingers and toes. I tried to reach another hold --- and slid right off.

I made one more effort, trying to wiggle my way over to the easier part of the wall. But there were no holds that could get me there. So I shrugged and headed back down.

"That is SO NOT VERTICAL," I told David. He was eventually convinced, and then he gave it a try himself. He almost made it to the top -- much farther than I did. It was a good climb!

We'd both had several good climbs. We climbed (spelling one another on belay) for almost three hours! Gradually our bodies started telling us so. First my fingers hurt. Then my wrists, and forearms. Then my toes join the melee, then my triceps, and then it was basically just a free-for-all, with all kinds of random body parts joining in. Letting me know how tired they are. Letting me know their various aches and pains.

Speaking of which, I should stop typing this and go rest my arms. They are feeling terribly weak and tired right now! Typing should be... challenging... tomorrow.

But despite the soreness, I feel GOOD. I challenged myself, exercised, worked hard, and had fun. I sweat buckets, drank buckets of water, but still didn't have to pee once.

I'm home and happily showered, and now it's long past bedtime. But I have one additional thing to ask:

Are there any local people who'd like to try rock climbing in Pontiac? It's really fun!! Wednesdays are half-off for ladies. I rented equipment and a day pass, and only spent $15.

Rock climbing is fun, but it is a sport that really requires a partner. I'm so glad I could partner for David, so he was able to climb when in town.... but for when David's not available -- would anybody else like to try?