Wednesday, 23 January 2008

Climb Every (well, three, anyhow) Mountain


Last Monday I got my Learner's in Indoor Rockclimbing. Mr Coffee has been several times before me, with an all-male troupe, but on Monday we did it with a mixed gathering.

The reason for the all male outings, explained Mr Coffee, was to increase alpha-maleness by sport.

And oh, I found out what he meant as soon as I got there.

Them rockclimbing harnesses are somehow engineered in a very interesting triangle shape to just emphasise the pelvic region and to outline and push forth the family jewels, so to speak. If there were ever a sport where the nuts could go nuts, I'd say this would be it.

However, the 4 of us, were determined to have a good time, even if we had our bots tied up and felt slightly ridiculous at first. Two males - Mr Coffee and his mate, Nova, and to balance the female side out, the lively, spritely, Tam O'Shanter, who was as small as me but had five times the energy.

Firstly, we got a lesson in how to safely check each other, and Tam climbed the training wall so lithely I thought it'd be a breeze. Next I had a go and found it weren't so easy. Damn! Where was that bit of rock? And how come I had managed to get so heavy myself lately - I didn't think I'd be so difficult to pull up a rockface!

What was worse, however, hreoically, I made it to the top of the training wall.

"Let me down!" I called.

Peter, the instructor, had different ideas. He was giving a blonde nearby a long spiel on how to let down a person safely - and let me down a lot. "Let me down! HELP!" I screamed, as I dangled at the top of the wall! Was I going to have to stay there forever, with a harness grasping at my groin?

It seemed ages later that I was brought down, among yelps.

Then came the times when I had to belay for Mr Coffee. I made several mistakes; firstly I thought I had to use all my weight and strength to keep him up on the mountain or else he'd fall off, not realising there's a security catch on the rope. So boy, did my arms get sore for no reason.

Secondly, when I let him down, I was overly cautious and slow, and didn't let a lot of slack in the rope, which (harness position again) is quite cruel on the male's crotch and tends to go for the giant wedgie.

But live and learn. I'll try not to do that too much again, unless there's a great need for revenge.

I tried several other walls. I managed two others to the top, and another about three quarters of the way up. Tam was like a monkey; I was like an elephant.

"Curse it! Why do the rocks have to be so far away! If only my arm were ... just ... a little bit longer ... a little bit longer ...!" And you get so darn tired. Right now my muscles ache. Upper arm and thighs especially. I'm sure I don't know how they did Mt Everest. Probably the handholds there were a whole lot better spaced.

6 comments:

TimT said...

Well, I suppose it's good to challenge yourself and all, but I can think of much better challenges. Like: "is this couch comfier with or without the soft pillow?". Or: "Will I have a croissant or a Danish with my coffee?"

Strive to meet these physically, mentally, and emotionally demanding challenges each and every day! Become the person you always wanted to be! Set yourself on the goal to Personal Improvement (not to mention comfier couches and tastier coffee breaks).

Maria said...

I took up the challenge TimT. Had a nap on the couch, with glass of drink on table nearby. Stretch to glass, Stretch to glass, Stretch to glass.

You are reminding me of a discussion after rock climbing about workouts. We referred to "The Gym Junkie who spends all Day in the Gym Cafe"

Your Workout regime!

"I start with a latte. If I want to go for something more intense, I make it an extra strong, maybe with a couple of extra sugars. I have a very big milk pouring regime. I do a few of those before I move on to the muffins. That's a bigger challenge. The chomping has to be regular. Sometimes I stick to the regular, if I want to go for some variety I might add in some apple muffins or some choc chip. Then back to the latte, or if I want to stretch myself, a cappuccino.

Later in the day, I might move on to the iced coffees, or a an iced chocolate. If I want to step up my regime, I go for the ones with the sprinkles and extra cream. I go for gold."

JahTeh said...

I'm all the way with timt on this one. The only good thing about this sport is the opportunity to crotch crunch legally.

St John Nottlesby said...

I was knave enough to try this m'self just before Christmas, and by God I can confirm that the jewels certain cop it! I walked like a Cavalryman for a week. Maybe it does indeed have something to do with technique (and the prompt-yet-not-bone-shattering belay certainly helps). I have henceforth confined my exercise to wrenching the cork from bottles of Shiraz. I have quite a rippling corkscrew arm, if I do say so myself.

One, two, three, pulllllllll ... and all that.

Maria said...

I was walking bowlegged meself, St John. Much pain, Not much noticeable gain. Could turn me to the drink, methinks, and that corkscrew arm of yours could come in handy. Any good with juice bottles, St John?

St John Nottlesby said...

Juice bottles? Depends entirely on what kind of "juice" ye refer to, madam. The nectars of Bacchus? I'm a dab hand at loosening any cork known to man. Mere apple-guava-lychee-virgin's tears-monk's sweat-banana-paw paw juice? Well, that might prove somewhat more of an effort.