Rockin' Evening

Steve has been rock climbing for the past 9 months. He got into it when we were at Bree and Adam's wedding, and all the groomsmen went rock climbing. I couldn't go because 1) I would be intruding on the guy time, and 2) I looked like this:

I was 7 months pregnant and not exactly in rock climbing shape. Steve has asked me to go numerous times, but I was always pregnant or taking care of a new baby. Now that Eva is 6 months old, I was thinking it was high time I took my hubby up on his offer.

When we started dating we did really fun things, like dirt biking, laying out on the roof of Steve's car talking and smoking stoags, going to concerts, etc. In the 2 1/2 years since we have been married, the interesting, fun activities/dates haven't really been happening. Our idea of a date is "wanna watch a movie?"..."yeah, I guess...American Idol is on tonight. We could laugh at the bad singers?" "okay" Or another common date is challenging each other to a Dr. Mario duel (that's right...we still have and play original NES). These things are all fine and dandy, but very stationary and it would be nice if we had an activity to do together. So rock climbing seemed like a fine idea.

I have tooth picks for arms, and am quite wussy. I wasn't sure how I would be at rock climbing, but I kept praying that it would be fun, that I wouldn't suck or hate it, so that it could be an activity that we actually did again. We got there and found out we had come on a lessons night, so the beginner wall was taken up ALL night by people taking this class. Steve wanted to start me on the easy part, so him and Joel just decided to do some runs and keep climbing until the beginner wall freed up. This was okay, but not exactly awesome since I was just watching everyone else climb and looking after a very overtired baby, who was missing her nap because she was there with us at the climbing wall. Oh yeah, did I mention we brought Eva? It was a family affair. She hung out with us in the baby backpack.

She actually did really well for missing her nap, and when she got cranky, I put out the kick stand on the back pack and fed her her bottle.

While we waited for myself to be able to climb (which took about 2 hours), we watched Steve climb...

"Is that my Daddy waaaaay up there??"

....and then we watched him boulder in the bouldering cave (this is done without a harness or ropes...the ground is very padded in this room).

When we were sick of waiting for the beginner wall to clear up for me to climb, Joel suggested I just climb the wall they were on. Rock climbing routes work on a pretty standard level of easyness to hardness. The easiest route to climb is a 5-7, and goes up to a skill level of about 5-14. Steve and Joel are up to a 5-10c, which is really good considering the amount of time they have been climbing. If I didn't climb a specific route and just did "all holds" (grabbing whatever holds I want), then this wall we were on was a 5-8. Steve wasn't so sure about this (I think he was worried about my wussyness, but I was sick of standing around so I just wanted to start climbing. )

It was such a challenge, but SOOOO much fun! It actually surprised me how much fun I had. When I got up about half way and looked down and realized I was probably 25 feet off the ground I got a lil freaked out, but Steve assured me the ropes and harnesses could lift a car, so I had nothing to worry about.

When I got half way up my arms were burning. I had remembered Steve's advice to climb with my legs, and not my arms (which is the mistake many beginners make), so I was trying hard to do this. I was still quite tired by this point, and surprised by the fact that I was sweating profusely. Somehow I powered through, and once I was 3/4 from the top I had a new rush of adrenaline that I was going to make it! I was exhausted, my muscles were tired and giving out, but I was determined to reach the top. I was so close! Near the end, I noticed myself giving out hefty belts of "HUUUUUUAH!!" as I lunged my legs up and grabbed onto a new hold. Somehow this made me stronger (yeah right), but it seemed to work.

The top of this wall is about 5 story's high

Then.....I did it. I reached the top!! I felt such a sense of accomplishment that I hadn't given up, I pushed through even when my muscles were telling me not to. I got down and Steve and Joel were showering me with praises and I was basking in the fact that they were proud of me for completing a harder route on my first try.

I felt like my arms were on fire, and my muscles were seizing up. Steve told me once the 5-7 route freed up I could go again. I thought there was no possible way I could go again. After about 45 minutes of resting and watching the boys climb, and soothing my tired baby, I suited up for the beginner wall. I didn't feel I had the same strength that I did the first time, and didn't think I would make it all the way up the wall. And sure enough I got about halfway up the wall, every muscle in my body telling me they hated me, and I considered telling Joel to let me down. Instead I gave another hearty "HUUUUUUAH!", lunged myself upwards and powered through. I made it to the top again!

I've decided I love rock climbing for the fact that it is an extremely hard workout, yet you have a sense of accomplishment and pride and you can say to yourself "I did that". I definitely don't have that feeling when I go to an hour long step class. Usually I'm thinking "thank God it's over!"

Steve told me the whole way home how proud he was of me. He said I did better than all the other beginner climbers they had taken. Even better than a few boys they took! Yessssss! I'm awesome! He told me "You didn't beat Mark at climbing though. He was really good his first time....but you definitely were just as good though." Wow. That was a compliment and a half. Mark is a big, muscley guy who works out and lifts weight and junk. You hear that Mark?? Just as good as you....I think I should now challenge you in an arm wrestling match.*

And thus concludes our fun family night out. I think I'll just go bask in the glory of my rock climbing accomplishments now.

*Update: Instead of arm wrestling, this was Mark's challenge to me: "... those things won't help you overcome this challenge I pose to you now... You... me... Indian Leg Wrestle. Best of 3. Winner takes Eva for a week!" You're on're on.


kindra said...

Wow, I just noticed my pics are all spotty. Must've been that milky sneeze Eva had and goobed all over the camera without me noticing.

Erika. said...

THAT IS SO AWESOME! I've always wanted to try climbing but I am SUPER scared of heights..... one of these days. For now I shall stick to the pavement with my running shoes. Yay for sweet family dates.

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