"...In the end, people either have excuses or experiences; reasons or results; buts or
brilliance. They either have what they wanted or they have a detailed list of all the rational reasons why not."

~ Anonymous
(taken from Matt Erbele's, It Takes Time to Get Good)

Friday, September 24, 2010


No, no more tarantulas, Lindsay. You do not have to say "forget you" (Who says that, BTW? I mean, besides 11 year old girls being "bad" at church. Dude, you crack me up)

This post is about the BRC 1 class (Beginning Rock Climbing) I am taking with my Run Buddy (I still don't have a new name for her despite the fact we have not run together in well over 2 years...)

She asked me to go with her and I adore her, so I said yes. Plus, I did not have enough athletic endeavors that I suck at, so I needed to start a new one.

Mission accomplished! Because I do, truly, suck at it. (Shut up, G)

Now, it is not the actual climbing part that I am bad at. (I know, you are thinking, WTF? What the hell else is there in rock climbing besides climbing? I am getting there Ms./Mr. Impatient don't get your panties in a twist!)

Truth be told, I am kind of freakishly strong for a woman (Aforementioned "Shut up, G" still applies) I may not be the fragile, delicate flower of a woman that many find desirable, but if you need someone to schlep their end of the couch up a flight of stairs on moving day? Then I am your girl.

Because of this, I can muscle my way up the wall for pretty much any of the beginning climbs (until about 5.8, for any climbing types out there) But, as the climbs get more difficult, there is apparently technique to this rock climbing thing.

This 'technique' involves, graceful, dance-like movements as you ascend the wall.

Graceful and dance-like? Hmmm ... Not my strong suit. I have humiliated myself at enough Jazzercise and step aerobics classes in my day to know that. Which leads to exchanges between me and my instructor that sound like this:

Cute as a Button 21 year old instructor (Hereinafter referred to as CB21yo): "RBR glide to the left and open your hips away from the wall as you pull up."

RBR clinging desperately to the wall: "What the fuck are you talking about? And why do you wait until I am 20 feet up this thing to start talking to me?"

CB21yo: "What did you say? I can't hear you"

RBR, yells in perky sing song voice: "Okay, sure! No problem" *grunts, scrambles*

CB21yo: "Umm... okay. Kind of like that. Straight arms! Let your skeleton bear the weight not your biceps!"

RBR: "Ummm... simple physics, Sport. You can not pull up with straight arms!"

CB21yo: What?

RBR, yells : "Okay!" *squeals as she almost slips off the fucking wall trying to simultaneously, glide, pull, open hips away from the wall, and hang on straight arms*

I actually really enjoy the class. Our classmates were all pretty shy and reserved at first, but between Run Buddy and I, we got them to be the loudest class in the gym. We cheer and clap for each other when we finish a route. (Ok, and a few wolf whistles and cat calls, since Run Buddy and I are soooo mature)

When I am not being told everything I am doing wrong from a super cute, 21 year old guy that is standing below me looking at the super UN-cute things the climbing harness is doing to my 41 year old ass, I feel kinda like spidergirl crawling up the wall.

Everyone needs to feel like a superhero once in awhile.

*Side Note: Don't worry. I promise no RBR in a full body spandex suit pictures are forthcoming. That would be way scarier than the tarantula.


Kris said...

This sounds like a blast! And who *doesn't* need another thing to suck at?!?! :)

Christi said...

Ditto what Kris said!

Kate Geisen said...

All of this applies to me as well, except the "freakishly strong" part. And add scared of heights, especially climbing tower heights which look significantly lower from the ground! And yet I'd love to take a class some time since rock climbing outside looks amazing...at least, from the pictures I'm looking at from the ground!

Jo Lynn said...

I was actually thinking, about a month ago, I would like to try climbing. We (REI employees) can do it for free at City Beach one night a week. But, now that you reminded me about the harness and what it does to the booty - I'm probably not going to do it until I like my booty. ;)

Lindsay said...

what.ever rbr. i say it, therefore it is automatically awesome.

so forget you again!

but fun stuff about the rock climbing. i do remember the harness wedgie from the one time i went... good times.

Katie A. said...

Hahaha! I would have loved to be a fly on the wall for that!
You amaze me all the time! Rock that wall!
Hope all is well, we need to make a run date - race or no race!!

Aileen said...

Hot damn! I always wanted to try rock climbing, because even though I have the upper arm strength of a five year old girl, I do like solo sports.

And the pictures are hilarious, per usual.

Regina said...

Rock climbing! fun! I have always wanted to do that. You get to have all the fun!

I feel like a superhero when I get the laundry, vacuuming, dishes, mopping, dusting and grocery shopping done. Somehow, it isn't quite the 'high' I imagined....wonder why?

Glaven Q. Heisenberg said...

"forget you" (Who says that, BTW? I mean, besides 11 year old girls being "bad" at church. Dude, you crack me up)

Yeah, because calling out a cute 21 y.o. on her lack of a grasp of physics is waaaay cooler and more cutting edge. Did you wear your pocket protector and taped-up horn-rimmed glasses on this climb, too?

Look, that there above is the best I could do, insult-wise, since you forbade me to comment on the good stuff. Because when you talked about how you "suck at it", I soooo wanted to say:


... but I can't.

Even though I just bet you do.

And when you said you are freakishly strong for a woman? I soooo wanted to ask:

For WHICH woman, you TRANNY?!1?

But now I can't.

Way to ruin my day!

You suck¹!1!
¹ ... at it.

SteveQ said...

Who says "Forget You?" Cee-Lo Green, for one, at least on the bowdlerized version of his hit song when I hear it on the radio.

My rock climbing has been mostly unintentional.

Bootchez said...

Dunno if you're still considering Boggs Mt in October ... If so I know of a slower-than-fuck, wildly undertrained, not terribly cute, skinny or bright and surprisingly socially inappropriate runner who'll be out there slogging around hoping for a time of under 10:00, but not by much. We've barely even met on line, and since I haven't managed a post in weeks and weeks you have even less of a clue of who I am, the social awkwardness could REALLY be crippling. Sounds awesome, yeah? Just sayin'.

Keith said...

Whaddya mean, "o RBR in a full body spandex suit pictures are forthcoming????" What do you think I come here for, the witty reparte? oh.

Diana said...

You have NOT felt a harness wedgie until you skydive! Holy Mother of God of all harness wedgies on that sucker!
Love that picture of the cat-those always make me spew something out my nose!
Good luck with the new endeavor of rock climbing! And people think kettlebells are hard! Hmmmmm.....

Ewa said...

My friend whose entire family is big time into rock climbing (son is a national champion) keeps talking me into trying. I am way too intimidated by such accomplished company. And I have not even thought about what the harness does to the soft parts... I think I'll wait till I can get more guts somewhere.

Christina said...

What's it with the tarantulas? I just saw one out in the wild. It was awesome.

Herself, the GeekGirl said...

I ADORE rock climbing. Not real rock climbing, but the inside, safe, sterile fake-handholds-screwed-into-a-wall kind. I have not mastered the graceful leaping that some do, however. I haven't even tried. I too scared, even with a rope on. But all in all, I loved it, and you get better at it. Your fingers get more coopearative. It's very fun in the winter when it's too crappy to run. Just try to ignore the twenty-somthing Twiggy types that make it look very simple.

Anne said...

You may suck at rock climbing, but you're great when it comes to writing about it :)

S. Baboo said...

Yeah, I tried some climbing with a friend last winter and he was all about straight arms and not gripping with the hands. I don't know how else to stick to a wall with an overhang by doing anything but holding on for dear life.