Saturday, November 14, 2009

Rock Climbing

Rock climbing
What do you think? Does rock climbing involve upper body strength or lower body strength?
I always thought upper body. This weekend I found out that I was wrong. Rock climbing is all about leg strength. Your upper body's purpose is to keep you close to the rock face.

Rock climbing is one of those things I can't believe I haven't done before. I've wanted to since college. Well, I had my opportunity this weekend and I.couldn' I am not used to not being able to accomplish what I set my mind to.

So, I am amused more than anything. My first chance at rock climbing and I failed. I'm that much more determined to make it work next time.

Here's the story: I am out on a camping trip with high school kids - most of whom are athletes. The other leader is a guy who has been in the fitness industry almost as long as I have been alive. One of his loves in life is personal training. He's in great shape. So they find a rock wall that is probably 95 feet high, "intermediate" skill required, and we find a way to get to the bottom. I'm already working up a sweat. A few kids go up and no-one wants to go next, so me, being the adult leader, run up to the top of the rock as best as I can run, climb into the harness, and climb over to the rappelling ledge. However, I can't go down right there at the edge, I have to climb down to the next rock level, with the rope beside me, and take that step of faith off the rock. Quite awkward, and unnerving. While I am scaling down, the leader yells up for me to stop and climb up a while. Huh? All my efforts have been to lean back and go down. Now I have to switch and go up? My legs are shaking. I find footholds and am clinging to the rock. People at the bottom are shouting encouragements/suggestions/instructions up at me and all I know is my legs are shaking. I can not get them to bear any weight. So down I go. I just couldn't do it - or maybe I just wasn't patient enough.
By the time all the kids had their opportunities, it was time to go. Time's up. 4th quarter, so close. We leave. The end. For now, anyway.

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