Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Let's Belay ...

Last night I spent two and a half hours at a rock climbing gym.

Let me back up a bit.

Matt is a very active boy. But he's not a fan of team sports. I've been debating putting him in soccer and football but he's not interested.

One day we talked about indoor rock climbing.

Yesterday I called to find out more.

It turns out that you kind of need a partner to rock climb because one person holds the ropes (belaying) while the other climbs. So, if I want to take Matt rock climbing I need that skill. So I signed up for the belaying class.

One hour, they promised. "It's as easy as driving a car."

I failed 6 driving tests.

I doubted I'd be done in an hour.

Regardless, I put on my lululemons and a cheerful t-shirt and off I went to belay.


They didn't tell me I'd also be climbing the wall.


The class was taught by the guy who teaches the kids - so he really got it when I explained my need to make sure I understood safety so I could protect matt. There were also only 2 other people in the class.

We started off by putting on harnesses (sounds sooooo simple). And then we moved on to tying knots. I still don't know how I figured that out. And I will practice.

And then we learned to belay. And took turns belaying each other and climbing the walls.


I have no idea why I had never considered this but I loved it. I loved both parts.

My first climb ... Well I'm a little scared of heights so when I first looked down it was a little startling. But you know, if turned out just fine. Well until I had to let go and trust someone to help me down. I spent a good couple of minutes clinging to the wall. And then I decided that I would just climb back down.

And then I learned I couldn't do it all my way. And the ride down was incredible.

After about an hour of this, and proving to the instructor that we were capable belayers we got a quick tour of the gym. And we were done.

And then instructor offered to work with me a little more. He knew I was still pretty anxious about locking Matt in and being responsible for him.

We then did several more climbs. I practiced my knots. I learned how to tie matt into a harness (different from tying myself in). And then we practiced over and over. The teacher actually "fell" a couple of times to show me that I had the tools to manage a fall.

(Is it wrong that after the first fall I thought it was kind of cool?)

After 2 and a half hours I left knowing I could do this.

As I was leaving I said to him "are you sure I can handle this? I think I've got it."

His response?

"You had it in the first 10 minutes. It just took another two hours for you to develop the confidence."

And if that isn't true about my life in general I don't know what is.

1 comment:

SciFi Dad said...

I get vertigo when dealing with heights... there's no way I could even consider climbing.