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So last night I went to Vertical Endeavors with Michelle and Jeremy. It was the first time I've ever been climbing and it was SO MUCH FUN despite the fact I can hardly use my arms today.

After we got all geared up, I got the brief tutorial which explains how to use the auto-belay and safely hook myself in. The auto-belay is fun and makes falling from heights enjoyable. Michelle and Jeremy showed me around and then I attempted to climb a few walls. My little foot made things a bit difficult - gripping doesn't REALLY happen with my poor little right foot. But hey - Nemo touched the boat so I think I can climb a wall (however, Sifu Ray said I'm not allowed to refer to myself as Nemo anymore).

The funny thing about climbing for me is that the first time I'd get on a wall I'd get up pretty far before I'd either get stuck or lose my grip. When I'd try again I'd never make up as far - I couldn't remember where to put my feet or hands. But I got really good at falling off the wall,just not so good at landing.

Now, despite the warning that both Michelle and Jeremy gave me, clearly stating that I should REALLY use my legs to push and not my arms to pull, I completely failed to do so. Some of this is that climbing a vertical wall is not all that natural. As a result, my arms felt like jell-o by the end of the night. As I would approach the wall my hands and forearms would tense up, screaming "No! Not again! Not agaaaaaaaaain!" Meanwhile my thighs were all "BRING IT OOOOOOOOOON!!!" I would grab the wall while my arms screamed again "SHOULDERS! WHAT ARE YOU DOING!?!!? STOP IT!!!! OBEY OUR COMMANDS!!!" When I got home I felt like a t-rex - my arms just wanted to curl up to my chest and my hands were almost useless little things. Even opening my car door was a chore.

Today, my arms and shoulders are delightfully sore - I know I got a good workout. While it's frustrating to know that my little foot might not be able to grip the wall as well as my left, or that my leg might not be able to push as well, but I can compensate and I can build what little muscles I have.

So Michelle and Jeremy - thank you for a really great time out last night! Thanks!!
Is that the rock-climbing spot in St. Paul? If so, you're not that far from where I used to work. Small world :)
I got your package. Thank you. I have your package packed up and need to take it over to the post office. Lucky me there's one near my office.
Ahhhhhhh.....Vertical Endeavors.... I loved climbing there! Sooooo jealous!
Ooooh, sounds like you had a great time...awesome! =) I want to try rock climbing on the one hand because it sounds hella fun (and reading your entry makes me want to try even more), but on the other hand I'm scared shitless of it because I'm scared of heights (I tell people the reason that I'm a runner is because I'm a klutz and a wuss who is scared of heights and large objects flying toward me =P).

If you keep doing it, maybe one day we can go to the Rocknasium and you can teach me. =)
i haven't been climbing in two years. I do miss it sometimes... but I definitely know how you feel about the arms. one of the rock faces at REI has no foot holds and only has a branching crack running up it's height. If you don't make it up quickly, you lose all ability to control your fingers and arms.
Hehehe! I'm glad you had a good time. We'll see if you're up for part two next week.