Sunday, April 13, 2014
A First? I think so.
If you had asked me about rock climbing four months ago I would have stated that, "It's just not for me. I like other outdoor pursuits and I'm fine with that." It was quite the surprise to me as I stood at the base of a cliff, watching my Shackleton climb ahead of me. Not only was it my first outdoor lead belay, it was my first multipitch, and my first trad climb. Who the heck was I, decked out in a helmet, surrounded by old guys with more strength in their little finger than I had in my whole arm? Yet climbing outdoors, unrestrained by predestined route holds, I was obtaining a first. No one climbed the route exactly like I did. They didn't place there foot just where I did, rolling my center of gravity across the ball of my foot just like I did, placing my hand just where I did and quickly shifting it to another hold like I did. Hundreds of people have climbed this route, it's not spectacular and no one would brag about it in any climbing scene. But I had an experience that was singular to me, and I consider that a first.