Thursday, August 09, 2007

but we climb steps every day

Lest you all think I'm spending all of my days buried in the books, I am taking a brief break tonight. Frankly, I take some kind of break every day. Thing is, when I get into my groove, I take my breaks, but I usually take them for myself, as in I spend them blissfully alone doing something I enjoy.

But you can't do that all the time or people start wondering if you are one of those people, so earlier this week, upon the urging of some troublemakers, I took my first shot at the climbing wall. Granted, it's a little pathetic that this is the first time in my life that I've even attempted the climbing wall. However, I did it. Sort of.

So, at the particular gym we went to, you have to get trained to belay and pass a belay test to climb with your partner. So first I had to learn about all of this, which, interestingly, heightens your concern and dampens it at the same time. There are all these things you must do or some bad sh*t could go down, and the outcome of you screwing up could be someone getting severely injured. But, on the other hand, there are a sh*tload of failsafes in place designed to protect against your stupidity. You know, basically the same as medicine.

Climbing was alright. The first attempt, I did quite well. The second attempt, fatigue set in and I paid for my bad form. During the first attempt, I could rely on using my arms primarily and my legs only when my partner yelled at me. The second attempt, my arms were toast, and my legs still didn't have the hang of it, and I had no choice but to admit defeat. It was embarrassing, but hey, it was my first time, and I was the only one out of everyone invited who even showed up to give it a shot.

Belaying, when you're the one actually making sure your partner doesn't fall to his/her death, came a lot more naturally. Granted, it's a lot easier, but I also feel like I took it more seriously. I'm a lot better with being relied upon than I am with relying on others. What's more- I'm a lot more likely to push myself to avoid letting someone else down than to avoid letting myself down. I've already let myself down too many times, with very little consequence. Admitting my limitations is not a problem, but strangely neither is pushing my limitations for some useful purpose.

However, for the record, when you have to carry a 20-pound box a half a mile on a hot summer day, it's probably not such a wise idea to try climbing a wall the night before.

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