Thursday, September 11, 2008

Back to the Wall

Years ago I used to go rock climbing at a gym with a couple of friends about once every two months. But we never really tried to work on our technique or even follow set routes, we just went as fast as we could to the top. Back then I never had a problem with acrophobia. Things have changed. I have subsequently developed a fear of heights and am now determined to conquer it while learning to climb properly.

Climbing at the gym tonight with a couple of classmates has left my forearms feeling like jell-o. We just did bouldering to work on technique, and I'm glad for that, because a) I need a lot of practice, and b) it meant I didn't have to get too high. Sweaty palms, heart palpitations, and choking panic attacks are to be expected when I do eventually make the attempt to climb with a harness. Perhaps as soon as next week.

The bouldering was very difficult but a lot of fun. My classmates are stellar climbers and were able to give me a lot of tips - getting close to the wall, matching feet, pinching the smaller holds, etc. The plan is to take an intro course and then go to the gym about once a week. Perhaps by next summer I may be ready to do a real outdoor climb.

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