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Letting it all hang out

Submitted by dyingtolive on 2003-10-05 | Last Modified on 2010-02-26

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My first time going rock climbing was awesome and the second time was even better. The first day I took a class and we were just climbing small practice cliffs, but I felt something special. While spending most of the day on a cliff overlooking Hawaii’s beaches I think I fell in love. The second day my friends, our instructor and I went to a YMCA campground that had several amazing cliffs behind it. We spent all day learning the basics, but it was still so much fun climbing those tree-filled pitches.

I think that was the most fun I have ever had learning. Far too soon that weekend ended and Monday happened. I was back at work again. I knew I was hooked, even though I had only gone twice, I had just gone yesterday— but I was already to go again. Tuesday was worse; I worked and spent my time wondering when I would go climbing again. I was in a meeting and I wanted to go climbing again.

Finally Wednesday came and even though I had no climbing gear, or any plans to go climbing, I decided I needed to practice. I didn't have any rock walls though, and I wasn’t aware of any indoor climbing gyms. I don't think this town even has bouldering cages. Then my friend told me his gym had a "treadwall", a sort of vertical treadmill for practicing climbing on. I thought "this has to be better than nothing, besides I’ve got to stay in shape for the next time I go.

So, as soon as I got home from work, I immediately ran upstairs and found only one pair of clean shorts—some tacky green, old, too-large pair of board shorts. I didn't even think about the danger of them falling down as I was so focused on getting my climb on. As soon as I got to the gym I noticed there was no weight room. "Well that’s a lie." The first thing I noticed was that there was about twenty or so really really HOT women doing Tae-Bo to a really really BAD Beastie Boys remix. Right there I got really pumped up. I was thinking "ALL RIGHT, I am so gonna kill this tread wall and totally impress all these girls." I don't think I even realized that they were all probably in better shape than me, and could trash me on the Treadwall.

So I did my "stud-walk" over to the climbing wall, and of course it wasn't steep enough, so I decided to change the pitch. I walked over to the controls and pulled the wheel. Nothing happened, so I pulled harder. Still nothing was happening. So I jerked on it as hard as I could, and of course NOTHING HAPPENED! "It must be stuck" I rationalized to myself, so I put my shoulder into the machine, and my knee next to the wheel and started just cranking on that thing. Still nothing happened, so I did the best thing to make yourself stronger, I grunted. Pulling on that thing a let loose a huge pirate-style "AAARRGGHH!!!!!"—but not even that loosened it.

It did get the attention of someone who worked at the gym though. She was about five foot, two inches tall, one-hundred pounds, and she looked annoyed. She just walked up and said "Don't break the equipment please", then with one hand she reached over and adjusted the pitch for me. I don't know how she did it, but I do know I felt really strange just having been schooled by someone who shouldn't even ride the big kid rides at the fair. So when she left after giving me a extensive lecture on gym safety, not killing myself, and certainly not breaking the gym equipment. After the lecture I definitely got the feeling that not breaking the gym equipment was higher priority than me not killing my self, but back to my expedition to the gym. I came up to the front of the machine and I saw there was a string with some straps on the end of it hanging down the front of the wall. How annoying I thought, but I started climbing and just pushing it out of my way as I went. That lasted for about thirty seconds till across the room Ms. "I work at the gym" just yelled at me "ARE YOU TRYING TO GET ME FIRED, PUT ON THAT BELT FOR YOUR SAFETY". She then came over and gave me an even more extensive lecture/tongue lashing on equipment, safety and blah, blah, blah. I felt slightly stupid as it was, until I noticed that now there was twenty some Tae-Bo doing Hotties staring at the equipment breaker in their gym. They were doing some sort of combo like, high kick, low kick, punch, stare at loser by treadwall, high kick, low kick, punch, stare at loser by treadwall. It sucked, but I was at least glad they didn't include "point and laugh at new guy at gym" in their exercise routine.

I finally put on the belt and the waifish gym worker left me alone, leaving me to go back to being a stud and impressing the ladies (something I really wasn't in the mood to do anymore). I got on the wall though and was climbing "good." The only weird thing was when I climbed it would be, "climb, climb, pop, climb, climb, pop." I could not figure out what that pop noise was for the life of me, but I decided to keep on climbing. Then something bad happened. Four minutes into climbing I heard, "climb, climb, pop, climb, climb, pop, RIP!" I quickly figured out what that popping noise was when I looked down and saw I was looking back at myself, and the twenty Tae-Bo ladies were looking at me. Not kicking and looking like before, now it was like "is that his????...oh my goodness, that’s gross". So I quickly left, with the parting words of mini-me the gym employee, who luckily had not seen "me". She saw I was leaving and gave me one last slap with the statement "wow, four minutes on the treadwall, you ARE hardcore". With those words in my mind, and a strategically placed backpack on my body I left and decided treadwalls were not for me. Climbing is definitely best done outdoors.


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