Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Indoor Climbing- A Fear Based Adventure



So I have a faux hobby. That is to say that it's a hobby that I only enjoy like 1/8th of the time and that terrifies me 8/8ths of the time. I started semi-getting into it because my brother, Shane has been talking it up to me ever since I got home. He's been climbing for a while, but these past couple months have been the first opportunity I've really had to go with him. We go to Planet Rock up in Ann Arbor.

Here's the thing- I'm scared of heights. I didn't even know this about myself until I was halfway up my first wall. I looked down and immediately started shaking. The way it works (for those of you who have never been climbing) is there's one person who climbs up the wall, who has the rope through their harness, and someone on the ground who is belaying them who also has the rope through their harness. It's really 100% safe, as long as the person belaying you knows what they're doing. Literally, God himself could be belaying me at this point and I still think I'd be wigging out. I feel a certain level of safety when it's my brother belaying me, but even still, all I can picture is me falling to my death. When you're that high up, rational thought is just gone, at least for someone with a serious fear of heights. I much prefer their auto-belays, which feel 100% more safe for me. You clip in to an auto-belayer with two clips, so instead of a person holding you, it's this a device. You still use a rope and everything, but the second you fall, the auto belay automatically drops you to the ground. It drops much quicker than with a person belaying. Even though it's kind of shocking and frustrating when you fall, because you go straight down and can't try again from where you left off, it's a much more secure feeling for me. 

So I'm scared of climbing. That much we know is true. But there's also that amazing feeling once you reach the top that makes that terror almost worth it. Getting to the top and feeling that accomplishment is so cool. Even though hundreds of people have probably climbed it before, once I climbed a certain course, I was super stoked on it. All like "NBD, totes already did that set. Don't want to brag about it. But I did it. Hey, did you hear me? I CLIMBED TO THE TOP OF THAT ONE." I'm annoying like that. But seriously, it's a really cool feeling. The first time I went, I didn't even think I was going to be able to climb to the top of the easiest course, but strangely I did! 

Climbing definitely isn't for everyone- and truth be told, I haven't even decided it's for me yet. It's a lot of fun, for sure. It's just that I can't help but get halfway up the wall and want my Mommy. I'm going to try to keep at it and see if I can get better. I'm not even half as good as Shane or Diane. They climb up the walls like spider monkeys. I look more like an ogre, fumbling my way up, gasping for air. Yeah, it's an attractive process. That would be why you don't see any photos on here of me actually climbing. Totes not happening.


 

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