Archive for the 'climbing monkey' Category

Jul 31 2008

climbing monkey adventures

Published by under climbing monkey,Life

Kit and I went climbing, though we arrived with only enough time for him to go up the wall once and me twice before the rec center closed. He went first and did a challenging path that had him straddling a ridge for nearly a third of the way, but he made it with only a couple of cheating feet moves (where he used rocks not on the path).

Me, I’m not really at the point where I’m good with following paths yet. I’m just trying to get my arse up the wall. The first time, I only made it about as far up as last time, and I came down nearly in frustrated tears. I hear my head say, “I am so tired of being afraid of this,” while my outside voice instead of crying asks Kit to tell me what he thought I was doing wrong.

There’s time for another quick one, and that “pushed to the fustration point = new learning plateau” concept Steve talks about proves true in my life once again. This time I seem to have a more intuitive understanding of what I’m supposed to do, and I make it up the wall an entire bodylength further than I could previously go before I decide to come down. Another bodylength and I’ll be past the first major ridge, scant meters from the top.

Conclusion: I don’t have a fear of heights. It’s been the distrust of my body all along, and my body is healing.

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Jul 04 2008

Fear and excitement

Published by under climbing monkey,Kit,Life

Fear-of-heights check: inconclusive

Body-seriously-fucked check: affirmative

I rather think that I won’t know if I have a fear of heights until my body is working more the way I’m used to, and it’s quite possible by that time I’ll have engendered a phobia from not trusting my body. I’ll keep climbing, keep stretching, pick a little higher rock as a goal each time. We’ll see whether my body bends or my mind breaks first. Yay self-experimentation.

In other interesting climbing news, I talked Kit into taking the orientation class last night, and he took to it like a monkey in a tree, like Andrea did to her spinning, like a cliche clings to a bad metaphor. It was really nice to see him excited and charged up on the exertion high afterward, hopefully he’ll keep coming back. Yay catalyst goodness for others.

Especially because I think I need a smaller harness; mine fits fine now, but if I lose any more weight at all (likely) I won’t be able to tighten it at the waist any further. So if we take Kit shopping for gear then he can have mine and I can get a new one.

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Jul 03 2008

climbing into Faerie

Published by under climbing monkey,Life,Writing

I bought my own climbing gear today. Harness, ATC, chalk and bag, shoes. My climbing shoes are awesome; small orange and black shoes that cling to my feet, delineating the high arches and insteps. They even come to tiny points at the toes for greater precision; on my feet, they look like little elf shoes.

My carabiner and chalk bag match my little orange shoes; I wonder if I can spiffy up the plain gray harness without causing problems…

Tonight’s the last night before the holiday weekend the wall is open. My legs and feet aren’t doing well today, but I’m hoping with some stretching I can get some wall time in.


I’m also thinking seriously about a punching bag in the backyard. I have gloves from when I was a kid, I think I even vaguely remember proper form. My need for touch is so pathologic right now I sometimes grasp too hard when reaching out; the emotion-skin connection too easily overwhelms. My awareness of my own physical strength is shifting and I have to learn the body controls anew as I discover previously unnoticed changes. Violent visions begin to invade my dreams. There’s too much screaming inside.

Or wait, are those my characters instead?  Writing will tell the tale…but I think the “sound body, sound mind” philosophy is looking mighty attractive.

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Jun 26 2008

My boyfriends have me climbing the walls…

Published by under climbing monkey,Life


Hey Kij!
I went to the climbing wall today!

Shockingly, my motivation for doing this was not to climb onto the “women of sf&f==climbers” bandwagon, though reading about it on various friends pages of LJ has evoked the memories–and desire–again. I first thought of wanting to climb at age 15, when we camped next to the Maroon Bells near Aspen, Colorado. I was told then ( and confirmed now) that that particular range is way too dangerous for climbers, and I can accept that. I don’t have to climb that particular range, but I will always remember them as what inspired my desire to climb.

The excuse for years is that my hands are my money, and have been in the last several jobs I’ve worked. But when talking to Kij at the Nebulas she seemed to indicate at least some protection in the form of wrapping was available. So there weren’t any more excuses on the table, and she said a year of climbing will melt and hone my body into the essence of what it is, which sounds rather nice.

Tonight, I am the only one in the orientation class with zero climbing experience. I am already good at belaying by the end of class, but I am the last one to climb, and I have been wearing horrible rental shoes for two hours. Only about 12 feet above the ground, I put my foot on a rock with a protruding edge and suddenly the foot cramp is there, sharp and promising to get worse. I look up and the rocks only get smaller and farther apart from here. I can’t finish, I yell “take” and then come down, disappointed for the moment but knowing I’ll be back.

We take our skills test, and one of the other classmates asks me if I will be her climbing partner. I say yes cheerfully; no one else I know locally is interested in this (well, my daughter, but you have to be 8 or older to go on that gym’s wall). I expect I’ll be on the wall more than the new partner will, but having someone else there even 2 times a week will be helpful.

I bought a pass for the rest of the summer, and if I have time tomorrow I’ll go get proper shoes since the rental ones have proven themselves unworthy within the span of a single evening. They also have package deals for all needed gear at the local shop that are totally comparable to shopping online or at Ar Eee Eye.

This is so much at the limit (or possibly beyond it) of what I can physically do right now, what with all the weird body stuff and changes going on lately. It’s exciting, and a bit scary, and challenging. I’m not strong enough–yet.

Also, writing research, hee hee. I’m sure I’ll find tons of ways to fit what I learn from this into my writing. Fun times.

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