#StudiousSeptember: Climbing to the Top

2 Oct

Let me start off by saying this: I am not a big fan of heights. The thought of heights makes me feel light-headed and nervous even right now as I’m sitting in this chair typing this up.


I am, however, a big fan of adventure, adrenaline, and any challenging activity out there that I have never tried. Let’s be clear about something: my adrenaline junkie side overrules my fear of heights. So, what better idea than to do an activity that would challenge my fears, right?

In reality, this little venture wasn’t something I planned. My significant other decided that Sunday fun day would consist of rock climbing and I was more than thrilled about the idea!

Once I got there, it was a whole new ballgame. The walls were covered in beautiful (and intimidating) objects shaped and colored in fun variations. I later learned that these objects were termed handholds and footholds.


I also learned really soon that I had lucked out in wearing pants. My partner got to experience the wrath of the harness and was left with a bit of bruising on her right thigh. OUCH! In all honesty, it was kind of my fault too… I was a pretty terrible belayer.


Any who, after gearing up (harness on and shoes ready) I proceeded to get tutored on the basics of rock climbing. This is what I learned:

1. It’s all about that double figure 8 knot. Learn it, appreciate it, and respect it.


2. The harness will be uncomfortable. Deal with it and squirm a bit around to make it less awkwardly uncomfortable.

3. Your life is in the hands of your belayer. Even with my partner being my belayer, this fact made me nervous.


4. Feed enough rope to the climber or else they become very unhappy after.

5. Don’t feed so much rope all at once. This will cause the climber to descend very rapidly. This, however if done carefully, is a pretty funny way to scare them a bit. I, by no means, advocate this action. Be a safe climber/belayer, people.

5. When other rock climbers rate the specific formation a 9 or 10, it’s serious. Don’t underestimate the numbers or the names.

6. Starting your climbing experience at a 5 isn’t anything to be ashamed of. Stand proud, newbies! We will gain experience and conquer higher numbers soon!


7. Have fun! Yes, this activity can be challenging and competitive (in cases with two competitive individuals), but remember to enjoy yourself and have fun!

8. When you’re arms start to feel like noodles, you’ll more than likely slip off if you try to climb up. Know your limits and if you’re going to push them, be safe and prepared.


9. Rock climbing might be the best exercise I have found yet!

During my experience, I learned some new terms, some new skills, and a new hobby that provides me with everything that’s important to me: challenge, exercise, excitement, and fun!




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