Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Air is My Cushion

(aaron and the giant fishhook,
what can we catch in that cave?)
I'm not a fan of heights. They often terrify me. Which is the exact reason why I decided to start rock climbing. "What a silly fear," I thought. "Why dont I self-propel myself to high, exposed places where, without proper gear and skills, I could fall and most likely die!"

So here I am, 6-ish years down the road, having given hours, $$, skin on my hands and knees, etc. to conquer this fear. I do, actually, love climbing purely for the feel of the rock and the route and of my body as I finds my way up these routes. And, for the payoff of unbelievable views at the top. But, I haven't gotten over the fear yet, not entirely.

(my legs look oddly tiny...must
be my mega climbing guns! ha!)

But, I di
d win a mini-battle on Sunday, out at Index after 10 months off. Toxic Shock out at Index. We warmed up on Great Northern Slab - a comfy 5.6. I got to follow the whole way thanks to my super duper climbing partner, Aaron and was feeling confident. It was a beautiful fall day, I had the best company, and it felt so good to be back out there. Leaving the crowds of the slab behind, we hiked up to Toxic Shock, a great 5.9 crack. Aaron gave the lead to me and after some good encouragement, I decided to give it a go.

(just before the fall,
happy heads have helmets!)
I have never fallen on lead. I avoid it, hold on for dear life, over-grip, scream, swear, and grunt, anything to avoid falling. 

But Sunday was different. I fought, pushed my wimpy, out-of-shape arms to the max, and fell. Twice. On gear! And it held!!! I even hooked my foot in the rope and flipped upside down on fall 2. (thanks, helmet!). I've got a bit of rope burn and scrapes and if i sit to one side, the big bruise on my right buttcheek hurts. But, I fell! And I was fine! (Thanks, especially, to my great climbing partner for the belay). And, I actually want to go do it again.
So, take that, Fear!

Lets go do it again!

1 comment:

  1. NICE!! Didn't know you weren't fond of heights... I want to learn gear.