Back at the beginning of January, I made a promise to try new activities this year. Today I finally did something that I’ve wanted to try for many years. Today I tried indoor climbing. It was quite the experience. The first 60-75 minutes was an introductory class where we learned to tie knots and proper belaying technique. The next couple of hours was just climbing in the gym.
My first climb up was feeling good and then it got scary. I made it 2/3 of the way up and then my right knee started to shake so bad that I had to ask to be let down. The experience was exhilarating and overwhelming. This climb was rated 5.6. (5 is the climb type and the 6 represents the difficulty. The easiest was rated 5.5 and the toughest was 5.11+.) For my second climb, I chose a real simple route and made it to the top without a single issue. This climb was rated 5.5. The few after that were more challenging. They were rated 5.6 and 5.7. I never made it to the top on those but I came really close. For my last climb, I was determined to accomplish the route from my first climb. I made it 2/3 of the way up and I was stuck. I couldn’t figure out where to place my foot. A voice from below called out to me where to step next. If it wasn’t for that, I wouldn’t have made it. The picture below is me at the top of this climb. I made it all the way to the top.
For the rest of the day, my hands have been red and sore. I can only imagine how I am going to feel tomorrow. I’m guessing I’m going to find out that I have some muscles in spots I’ve never realized.
Darren came with me today. He did an amazing job of climbing. He’s a natural. He scaled up the walls with little effort. I was so proud of him. His hands have been red and sore too.
The experience was pretty amazing. At times, it was scary. When I would get to a spot and be stuck, it was unnerving. Knowing I had Darren there belaying for me helped but it took getting used to. The idea that I could slip and fall and be okay is abstract. By the end, I was feeling more comfortable with this. On the way out I said to Darren, “I would have you belay for me any time.”