|The rock wall at REI|
The instructors were great; very positive and encouraging and engaging of all the climbers. There were four climbers and two belayers (instructors from REI) so we all took turns climbing. I kind of got pushed into being first up. Since I was not sure if my body was ready for this I decided to tackle the easiest part of the wall (a 5.4, I believe, for those who know rating scales, that only went half-way up). I got so close to the bell at the top of the section, and wouldn't you know it- I looked down and lost my nerve.
I repelled back down a little disappointed and frustrated. I had almost reached my goal- to get at least half-way up- I was proud of myself for trying and for getting up there and doing it, but at the same time a little embarrassed and self-conscious as I watched the other three climbers scramble up the wall to the very top on harder sections. Of course, they also came with their own gear and have been climbing more recently than I have. It's been about 7 years since I last climbed a rock wall, so I was able to let go of that judgment and give myself grace. I had done my best. Or had I?
With a little goading/encouragement from the male staffer belaying us I decided to try the other 5.4 section that went all the way to the top. He said the grips were bigger and easier. I don't think I got more than 20 feet off the ground before I got frustrated. I didn't know where to go for the next grip and I was angry with myself. I hung out there for a sec and then in another moment of embarrassment asked to come back down.
I had some internal conversations with myself. My goal had been to climb again- I'd done that. My goal for that night was to get at least half-way up- I hadn't done that. So was I done, or was I going to try one more time? ...
I decided to try the first section one more time. I scrambled up quickly to about the point where I had
|The section of the wall that I climbed.|
I repelled back down with a big smile on my face and restored confidence in my body. It has taken a lot of abuse over the years; all the crap food I've eat and the neglect I've given it, but it still was able to help me get up the rock wall and make it to my goal. Thank you, body!
I'm going to keep working on improving my fitness and next time I go back to the wall maybe I'll make it three-fourths of the way up- or maybe even to the top! Let's see what else this body can do!