Many moons ago (maybe 1992?), when I was working at camp, I was picked to be the counselor for a rock climbing trip. I had never been rock climbing, nor done very much Project Adventure which was used as a prerequisite for the climbing trip (we had a PA course at camp). I was assured that I was going with the PA Consultant (the person who led those activities at camp) and that rock climbing instructors would handle the actual climbing stuff out of camp. I had a FANTASTIC group of girls. They were all returning campers who knew their stuff: they could build and cook over fires, they could plan activites, they could be trusted to get things done, etc. They were excited about the program and it really helped me out.
I found I really liked climbing. I was pretty afraid of heights (and that fear hasn’t left me!), but I powered through it and worked my body in ways I didn’t know I could. We went climbing near Lake Placid and had a great time. I was able to go on another trip with many of those same girls the next summer (yay!) and had another great time. And then I pretty much didn’t go climbing again. I didn’t know how to go when I wasn’t going with a camp group and I didn’t really try to find out.
Since I’ve had kids, I’ve tried to talk to Thing 1 about climbing. I think he’d like the work on his joints, but because he has a strong fear of the unknown, he wouldn’t go. Last year, though, we went to a birthday party for the neighbor’s son at a local gym that happened to have a rock wall and he finally tried it and liked it. Today his hockey team went to a rock gym for a team building activity and he got to do a lot of climbing and wants to go back. My hands are a bit tender from all the belaying I had to do (since I had to belay both Thing 1 and Thing 2) and I pared the skin off of one thumb knuckle, but it was worth it.
Now to find out when I can climb again.