A couple of years ago I had a friend named Carrie who took Erin, Chris and I all rock climbing at Zilker Park. Chris made it up about 4 feet and realized he was afraid of heights and did not trust Carrie with the ropes. Erin made it to the top of the wall, but the whole experience didn’t have that big of an effect on her. I made it to the top of the wall and for some weird reason have always thought about rock climbing and wanted to do it again. Looking for the next rock and figuring out how to adjust your body into the right position can be as addictive as Tetris. So in the spirit of the New Year I have decided to revisit rock climbing.
I did a little research and discovered that the Austin Rock Gym has a ladies night which means you get instruction, yoga, your harness, special shoes and 2 hours at the gym for half off. I had a sick sense that my friend Cory would love this so I drug her along forcing her to miss her beloved $1 bowling night at Dart Bowl. First there was a brief tutorial where you learned how to belay which involves two people and all the gizmos. Both people get in there little harnesses which goes around your legs and waist and is not particularly flattering, though safety gear rarely is. There is also a series of pulleys attached to the tippy top of a very tall wall with cables. Both people hook in around their waste and one person climbs while the other person has a pulley and lever thing on their harness to make sure that person does not fall. There is also a thing called traversing where you basically just free climb. I came to the very sad conclusion that I have absolutely no upper body strength and rock climbing was quite the challenge for me. An awesome challenge though. Cory on the other hand who started the night a little skeptical with comments like “it’s fun, but I’m not sure I would get a membership or anything” discovered she had the coveted climbers 6th finger. This is kind of a muscular bulge between your thumb and pointer finger that apparently potters and climbers get. Cory does neither, but is naturally blessed with the ability to climb like Spiderman. Seriously she was super good. Needless to say she left saying “well I could go to bowling every other Monday, and if we buy our own shoes it will cut back on costs”, I knew she would love it – I just didn’t know she would be great at it. I told her she might have found her calling in life. Read Cory’s blog about it here.
After we master rock climbing Cory and I have decided to take roller skating lessons. All that shame and envy I felt in my heart about not being able to skate backwards in the 4th grade, I’m taking it back.