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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Climb On : To the Top

I've gone climbing...four?...times since last posting about it. Maybe five, six? Hot damn, I've reached the point where I've gone enough they all are blending together!  Achievement level unlocked.

When we went a few weeks ago, Jenna was bouldering and crushing it, until she landed wrong (the crash pad wasn't squarely under her) and hit her heel on the mat, so she's been out for the count. Sad, because she's by far the best at bouldering and I love watching her. Also, she was doing really great before she fell (evidence here), and once you fall (even a little) you really get nervous and cautious the next time you climb.  Her leg has been bothering her since the fall, but she had an appointment to get it checked out and found out it was just a bruised tendon (we'd been worried she had a hairline fracture or something).  Last Wednesday was the first day she felt comfortable enough to get back on the rocks, so it was great to have her back in action.

I got over a hump and was able to top one route that I'd been working on forever (and have since done it two more times) as well as a few other routes that were at my 5.8 level - the three pictured below plus one other one (that I cheated on the first time up using a foothold that wasn't mine, but went back up and got past that part without cheating). I was crazy excited, because I topped three different routes in one night and that was a personal best for me. I'm now working on two routes that are proving really hard for me thanks to an almost total lack of upper body strength. One route, that we call "the red route" because we're SO CREATIVE and the tape marking it is red), is a strange route that you have to climb with your feet on one wall and your hands on another and it's super awkward and I can't quite figure it out.  I also got another route - another 5.8 - that I only got with a healthy amount of help from my belayer. I'm still proud as shit that I got it, but she definitely hefted me up to help me get a couple of the handholds. (Although she immediately discounted the climb entirely by telling me how much I cheated by relying on her and gave me zero credit for effort. Hint: Next time, say, "Great job! Next time you try it, let's try it with more slack!" or "Next time you try it, I bet you won't even need my help!" Positive reinforcement! haha)

I'm not sure how well you'll be able to see the routes here, but three of the ones I got were the white one in the top left, the yellow one in the top right, and the teal one on the bottom picture. 

Some random guy transversing the wall (going across the wall laterally, not too far off the ground - and MUCH harder than it looks since you are constantly crossing your hands and feet).

I also topped three bouldering routes - the V01 I was working on before (V0 being the absolute easiest and V1 being the next step, so V01 is somewhere between the two) as well as two new ones, both V1s. I think. One might have been another V01.

When I got the V01 that I'd been working on for ages, Kimberly was helping another climber and I was just practicing that one move needed to get it. I GOT IT and was SO excited to keep climbing up, only to realize that there was no crash pad under me (since the move I was working on was relatively low to the ground). So I had to drop down, move the crash pad, and do it all over again. This time with everyone staring at me, since I'd yelped so loudly when I'd gotten the move.

I can slowly feel myself getting stronger, but not as fast as I'd like. I'd probably help if I did something anything other than just this for a workout, but I don't. Or if, you know, I stopped eating a gallon of ice cream a day. (but I'm a nursing mom!)(I say to myself) It'd also help immensely if I could get out to climb more than once a week. My sisters go twice a week, generally, and I'm usually only able to go with them one of those nights since I work the other day they go and climbing with me isn't enough of an incentive to get my other sister to change her grocery shopping schedule to accommodate me. I kid, I kid. Mostly.

To end, this is what the gym looks like when they're closing up and tying the ropes up to get them out of the way and off the floor so they can sweet. Doesn't it look like a little forest of nooses? I'm always vaguely creeped out by it.

And then my sister calls me a wuss.

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