Wednesday, 17 September 2008


Today I went climbing. I think that I last went climbing the evening before I started this blog. I remember that getting it together enough to go climbing regularly was finally beginning to pay off, and I was starting to feel strong and in control again. In fact, I had for the first time (and ahead of the men with whom I climb) managed to make it to the top of the 18m wall at the indoor climbing centre. I was leading, which meant that I was taking my rope with me and clipping it through quick draws as I climbed - the rope was not attached at the top of the wall, and had I fallen I would have covered a little more distance than I was comfortable about covering before the rope became taut. I held on very tightly.

My head was not really frightened, but my legs were. I decided that it would be a good plan to repeat to myself that this was just an ordinary climb, and was perfectly safe; it was just taking a little longer than usual. And I did not look down until I was on my way down. I think that may have helped. I suppose I kept the fear at bay by pretending nothing was going on. I think that my legs are either stupid and did not understand what my head was saying, or more perceptive than my head. I ably demonstrated "Elvis leg".

Additionally, it turns out that it is very draining climbing 18m upwards - my arms and legs were very pleased when I stopped climbing and prised my grip from the 'rock'. Alas, I missed the view on the way down. Next time I shall have to pay more attention - I was really looking forward to seeing what the climbing centre looked like from that angle, but was unable to let myself until I was safely dangling on that rope. I like the rope.

Today I felt less able. A month or so without using many of my climbing muscles left me with an increased waist measurement (I'm a little touchy about this - I remember how my harness used to fasten) and decreased strength. I was tired when I climbed to the top of the first 10m wall. I didn't attempt the 18m one at all, although the guy in the group today did. He only rested twice on the way up, which means he is only two rests behind me.*

There was only one incident requiring an ambulance, which was good, although I prefer it when there is none. I didn't get the impression that they guy fell off the wall; if he did fall, he fell quite a long way. I didn't even notice there was a problem until the ambulance people came along with their ambulance. He was only a few metres away, so whatever he did, he did it quietly.

It felt good to have climbed again - I must try to keep it up better this time. There are plans to climb outside some time before the end of the year, which I really need to do. I was given a whole load of climbing gear for my birthday in June, and have not used most of it as there is simply no need for a helmet or assorted bits of metal attached to wire*** when climbing indoors. Especially if you don't fall off.

I returned home to find HWSNBN killing his friends on the Internet. They do this a lot. Apparently his friends are dead now. Perhaps they won't be doing it so much in the future. Perhaps he has zombie friends. I have just cooked sausages left over from Saturday's barbecue (they were frozen when they attended and have been in the fridge since Saturday evening). Either they will be fine or I will get a day off work. Either way, I win. Mind you, maybe I'm looking at it wrong - maybe I lose either way: either I have to go to work or I get food poisoning. Hmmm. Life can be disappointing viewed from a "glass-half-empty" perspective.

Bed time. Sleep well, Internet.

*Competitive? Me? Actually, I was too afraid to let go of the rock. I mean, I wasn't afraid of the climbing itself,** but letting go did not seem to be a plan with which I wished to engage.

**My legs do not count as "me". They are traitors.

***There is, of course, much need for assorted bits of metal attached to what looks like very sturdy string - those are the bits of my birthday present that I have been using a lot. And my rope is very lovely, too. It isn't long enough for the 18m wall, but is great for the rest of them, as is is lighter than the longer ropes.

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