Saturday, February 4, 2012

....or better yet....climb a rock!'s been too long...and I've been super busy! I realized I forgot to blog about my birthday...

On my birthday this year, I decided to try something I've always wanted to try - rock climbing!! I rounded up a group of friends and headed over to Climb Nashville - an indoor rock climbing facility.

 Wow - walls and walls of rock! A few of us signed up to learn how to belay - to be the one on the ground, holding the rope for the climber. Once our instructor showed us (very quickly! she talked so fast, I had trouble keeping up!), we made our first attempt! My friend, John, belayed for me (his first time belaying! yikes!) while I climbed - for the very first time!! It was scary at first, hoping that John wouldn't let go, and belay correctly, while I attempt to find "rocks" to grab on to and step on, all the while, on the ground is a bunch of pebbles and stones....NOT a soft landing pad lol.

I made it to the top!! I think I'm learning I have this competitive side of myself...with myself. I feel the need to show myself that I CAN do it...yet, I don't seem to fight as hard against other people. Hmmm...there's one for the therapists out there!

So, yes...I made it to the top. What a rush!! Ok...then, I had to come down. The girl told me to let go of the rock, and just push myself away from the wall. WHAT???? I was clinging on to that rope so hard! "John", I kept saying, "I love you! Please don't drop me!!!" Well, luckily he picked up on this belaying thing quickly, and let me down very gently. And yes, this lowering to the ground gave me an adrenalin rush too...weird! But let me tell you, when I touched the ground, I was the happiest girl in the room!

I'm Tebowing....Hello ground...I love you!

So, after the first climb, we all took turns climbing and belaying. We tried different walls and discussed different strategies to make it to the top. We asked other climbers...those who looked like they knew what they were doing. We got some great pointers. We came to the conclusion that we were gripping on to the wall for dear life, and using our arms so much, that our fingers, hands and forearms were getting tired! What we needed to do was use our legs step UP...not PULL ourselves up with our arms. Also, after watching some other "pros", we also noticed that it was ok to lean back away from the rock, trusting the rope, and using that time to find our next move up the wall. I now know what NOT to do next time!

I'm excited to get back to the wall! I made it up to the top 3 of the 4 times I climbed...and hopefully next time I'll make it every time. We'll be going again in a few weeks. The cost for the day included the equipment rental. I'm considering getting my own shoes and harness at some point. Though I'm not quite ready to go outside on a REAL rock, I definitely want to make this a frequent activity INSIDE! It's also a wonderful workout. My arms and lats were pretty sore the next day....Oh, and by the way, belaying was a little tiring as well...I need to find out if I was doing it correctly. I was pulling so hard on the rope, that my right arm was getting tired. But then again, maybe I'm just out of shape! Well, kids, this rock climbing thing will get a person in shape....

I encourage everyone to try this at least once! I may even try bouldering. This is really just free climbing...without the harness. There was a shorter wall, with a big soft pad on the ground, where a few gutsy guys were climbing. I think I should get this climbing thing down WITH the harness first....then we'll see.....

      trying to learn how to thread the rope correctly!                                  me belaying...

I had one of my best birthday EVER!!! Thank you so much to my wonderful friends Adair, Richard, Charlotte and John! Thank you guys for making the day so special! :)

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