I’ve decided that I’m a faux rock climber.
Faux in that the rocks I climb are plastic.
Faux in that I suck, that I can’t actually climb well, that I wouldn’t consider myself a climber of rocks.
A faux rock climber. That’s me.
We joined the climbing gym, which you maybe already know if you read yesterday’s post. But yesterday was all about the house (still no decision) and today will be all about the plastic rocks.
I don’t do everything Allan does. I don’t play soccer, I won’t pee outside, I won’t wade 20 feet into the Atlantic. I have no interest in hiking the Appalachian Trail nor do I want to make it to the top of Half Dome.
Allan doesn’t like to read. He doesn’t get giddy over puppies, he doesn’t feel the urge to volunteer. He doesn’t obsess over Etsy or take photos of everything that comes into view.
So I didn’t join the climbing gym for him. Or just for him, anyway. It’s good for us, doing this thing. Aside from Big Picture stuff, we don’t actually have much in common, so it’s good to share this.
I joined for me.
Yes, for me.
I’m terrified of heights. When I get more than five feet from the ground, my chest constricts, my palms sweat and my heart pounds. And the vast majority of my time in the gym is spent more than five feet from the ground. I get to nearly 30 feet off of the ground if I make it to the top of a route, whether it be rainbow or a solid color. Every single time I put my foot in a hold and reach up to grab the next, I am scared shitless. But I do it anyway. I chip away at my fear. And I’m proud of myself.
I feel like I’m using my body when I’m there. I believe my body – as imperfect as it is – can do more than sit on the couch and leisurely walk the dog. My body was made to move, to push, to pull, to stretch, to reach. And when I’m at the gym, I’m doing all of that and more. I’m using this amazing, fully-functional body that I was given. It’s a waste not to. I’ve been wasting my body. And I can’t imagine an exercise that forces me to use all the different muscles and each of my limbs the way climbing does. Every bump, every bruise, every scrape, every trickle of blood is proof that my body is in motion, that it’s working.
To do this thing, to climb these plastic rocks, I have to use my head and my body in a way that I’ve never done before. And when I make it to the top, when I’ve conquered my fears, when I’ve pushed my body to the limit only to learn that my limits are expanding with each hold, it’s exhilarating. It’s a surge of adrenaline that I have rarely experienced in my 32 years on this planet.
That’s why I joined the climbing gym.