Rock-climbing

Simon Rowland and Roger Yang invited me to go rock-climbing at Rock Oasis (Front and Bathurst) last Friday (2006.08.11). Richi Plana and I headed there after he dropped his backpack off at the hostel, and I texted Jedediah Smith and Quinn Fung to see if they’d be interested in joining us. It turned out to be such a terrific experience!

While we learned the ropes, Simon and Roger took turns climbing
challenging walls. By the time we finished, they were also done!

Fortunately they were not too tired to help us. I asked Simon to belay
for me as I tried climbing. The 5.7-level wall turned out to be a bit
too challenging, so I went for the 50′ 5.6 wall instead. I had
completed a 5.6 wall during the beginner class, so I figured I could
handle it.

50 feet, apparently, is quite a distance, particularly for someone new
to climbing, with a weak grip and little endurance. When my fingers
gave up, I used anything else I could: the side of my palm, my
forearm, even my elbow. I frequently shook my hands to get rid of the
fatigue and often sat back to figure out a strategy for making my way
up. Whenever an approach failed, I’d try another, and another, and
another. Hold by painful hold, I made my slow way up.

Every time I lost my grip, my friends learned more about the limits of
my vocabulary. They knew I was getting serious when I graduated from
“Ay, CRAP!” to “DARN!” They were rather amused when I tried out
“Fish!” and “Fudge!” for size. (I like “Fudge!” It makes me think of
chocolate.)

And hey, yeah, that’s true. If I think something’s worth it, I’ll keep
going for it—and that’s just so much more fun with encouragement. =)

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