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Front Climbing Gym; Way cooler than watching Chris O’Donnell in “Vertical Limit”

May 9, 2009

noely climbNoel
Week 3
Dear Diary,

This week things really started to gel.  It’s becoming apparent that I’m getting conditioned to this sport, in body and mind.  For days I’ve been stuck on several different problems.  It’s like I hit a wall with this wall!  Good thing there’s a thick pad at the bottom of the wall or else I’d have a broken ankle and a broken arm rather than just broken pride.

Before this week I was picking myself apart to explain why I’m not getting every problem first try; fingers aren’t strong enough, don’t plan my route out well enough, arms are too short, technique is all wrong, too busy trying to wink and wave to cute girls, etc etc etc.  But over time and practice over and over, my ability noticeably increased.  In one day I was able to do three different problems I’d previously been stuck on for a week!  Joy!  Exhilaration!  Triumph over a formidable obstacle.  I couldn’t keep the grin off my face.  It wasn’t that I’d bested anyone else in the gym.  In fact, I’d watched and took mental notes as nearly a dozen gals and guys manipulated their way to the summit.  I used to skateboard all the time.  Climbing, just like skateboarding, is about a personal best.  It’s about trying and crashing and road rash and blood and trying again.  It’s about conquering self and obstacle.  It’s about aligning your confidence with your ability.  And sometimes it’s about hucking yourself at something, off something, over something, or up something and hoping for the best.

This week I could tell that my eyes were sharper; I could see the wall, the route I should probably take, where I can put my feet and how I should hold each rock.  “Blessed are those with eyes to see.”  My grip was stronger.  I could not only hold on to a rock for dear life, I could still maneuver, adjust, and continue up.  I became more comfortable with the wall.  I started to embrace her with a tender caress rather than with a scratchy trepidation.  In turn she embraced me.  She became more of a help and support than an obstacle, a wall.  It took some time but we warmed up to each other.  She’s not a harsh mistress.  I miss her already.

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