"When I get sad, I just stop being sad and be awesome instead. True story." - How I Met Your Mother


Monday, July 6, 2009

The Breakthrough

Over 4th of July weekend, I headed out of town to do a little bit of fear conquering with a few friends. As I have mentioned climbing is quite terrifying to me. I did not comprehend how people could actually enjoy this sport; until I built up the courage to try it again this weekend.
This is a picture of my first route of the trip. It was a challenging 5-8 to 5-9 rated route. When my turn to climb approached I began to tremble with fear; my whole body was shaking as I started to ascent. Gradually I became more confident as I was able to make good holds and moves upwards...that is until I got stuck. After failing at making the neccessary maneuver to get to the next point and falling a few times, I lost all my confidence and I was just spent. I bribed my belayer a beer to let me down (ha!). Although I did not make it to the top, I felt much better about this climb than my previous trip.

The next climb that we did was on an outcropping called "XY Rock". As you can see from the picture below, the name is quite fitting. This is a very different kind of climb than others I have done. It is a crack climb, that utilizes a fist anchor technique. This is when you place your hand in the crack and make a fist and use it as an anchor as you pull yourself upwards. It is definitely a heavy strength move, but it is very stable, which makes climbing a bit less terrifying. On this route, I was able to successfully make it to the top without falling. A sense of relief flooded my body as my feet hit the ground after completing the climb. My whole body had been trembling the entire time as I was ascending. I still was not sold on the sport at this point.
After we had all tried the X route, the more experienced climbers decided to tackle the much more difficult Y route. They had a blast working this crack as they enjoyed the challenge it posed. I still thought they were crazy and was working up the courage to try a different approach on the X crack. When it was my turn to go, I felt a bit less nervous than usual. I got up on the rock and all of a sudden it clicked; I no longer felt scared. I felt sure-footed and confident. Each move I made was swift and calculated; I could not believe how quickly I had reached the top. It was absolutely exhilarating. Finally, I understood why my friends enjoyed climbing so much. For the first time I felt the thrill of victory as I conquered my fear and made the rock my bitch. That is right, my bitch!

On a side note, I came back from climbing completely sore, covered in scratches and bruises...oh yeah and I was absolutely coated with dirt and grime from head to toe...it was just like I was a kid again! Awesome.

Here I am making a sweet move on the X crack.

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