My health issues of late have made running more than just the normal amount challenging. And the bike isn't as much fun at night as running is. I've been crawling out of my skin over here...climbing the walls. Yesterday, I decided I was tired of feeling old, fat, slow and in pain (fine, argue with me...but I'm not listening...psedentary psychosis). I decided that I needed to do something that scared the crap outta myself...but it had to be something that wasn't going to leave my children motherless and my husband wifeless. So running blindfolded across the freeway wasn't an option. Nor was playing chicken with a speeding BART train.
Every day on the way to and from my kids' school, I drive by a gym. It isn't just a gym...it's a climbing gym. I don't know what made yesterday different from any other day before it, but yesterday I suddenly got a bug up my butt to go try this...
I did one of these climbing wall deals once a long time ago at a kid's birthday party...and it totally freaked me out. I was fine on the going up part, but when I got to the top and turned around to see the dude holding the rope for me down on the ground, I freaked the F out. I had to close my eyes while they lowered me down. I wanted a drink...and I don't even drink.
But yesterday the Try This NOW bug found me...and bit me hard.
I called my husband. "Honey, I'm going to an Intro Climbing class tonight at 7:30. You'll need to put everyone to bed tonight. Okay?" He said that would be fine (of course he had to ... he still owes me for that 12-day solo trip to France he took last summer).
When 7:30 rolled around, I was sitting there in Berkeley Ironworks, a little nervous.
I had to put on this harness thing...
...and weird shoes...
...and learn how to tie knots...
"First you make a loop...that's the ex-boyfriend's head.
Then you wrap the rope around his neck and poke him in the eye with the end of the rope.
Then you pull the rope tight. "
After that, you 'trace' the knot so that it's doubled and it ends up looking like this...
Then you take the end of the rope and tie a fisherman's knot...
Those are some of the things the person going UP the wall needs to do to get ready.
This is the person standing on the ground holding onto the rope that can save the climber's life...
In the Intro Climbing class last night, I learned both ends of the deal. The instructor was very thorough and nice...even when I kept screwing up my knots. Safety is of tantamount importance. She patiently helped me get them right. And then she let us climb the walls.
What I learned:
- as long as I don't look down, I don't get scared.
- being the belayer is really stressful!
- my upper body is pathetically weak.
- having trust that your belayer has you makes it so much easier!
- keeping your arms straight and just hanging is helpful.
- you use legs more than I thought.
- climbing uses a whole lot of muscles I didn't remember I had...my whole body is sore.
- I really like it...even though it freaks me out.
The place has more than just the walls for climbing. It is a gym. There are treadmills, weights, classes...
I need a change. I need something to be excited about. I need a new adventure to take on.
I joined the gym.
Happy Leap Day :)