Most years, I buy myself a bikini for my birthday. Really. (I am a sun worshipper – the mountains or the beach: who could possibly decide?!). I fear that I might be evolving though, because this year, I bought myself a top-rope anchors course instead. (Okay okay, this might have to do with the (awful, terrible, abhorrent) decision of Victoria’s Secret to stop selling bathing suits, but still).
Climbing is by far the number one positive life component that I inherited from the Rich breakup back in 2015 (when I began this blog!). It’s something I have always been intrigued by, yet never took the plunge to make it part of my life until my post-heartbreak life makeover in January 2016 (I do love a good life-makeover – keeps me from getting too bored). Shortly after, I met Seth, my climbing buddy, and we’ve been trekking out to Sportrock at least a couple times a week since.
I’ve read that people in mathematical fields tend to especially enjoy climbing because it involves a lot of problem-solving. I am definitely not in a mathematical field, but math was one of my absolute favorite subjects all through childhood and high school. I remember one Calculus class when my teacher was out and we had a substitute teacher, I actually (attempted) to teach the class in her absence. (I mostly got ignored – most people did not find it to be as much fun as me haha, but I DID know what I was doing. Nerd alert). I probably would have seriously considered going into a mathematical field had my older brother not done so. (Classic middle child – gotta be different, obviously). Anyway, so combining problem solving with physical exertion and goal attainment equals a super winning combination for yours truly. All I’m really trying to say here is I (super) heart climbing.
We’ve mostly been climbing in the gym, but have been wanting to get outside more. Until now, Seth has had to do all the work of setting up the anchors when we do venture out. I’ve been wanting to change that. And my friend Alysha has just recently gotten back into climbing and regularly comes with us (our dynamic climbing duo has happily become a tremendous climbing trifecta. Like my alliteration there?), so I convinced (okay, really just asked) her to come along. Somehow, we got lucky enough to have our own private class with a stellar instructor, Billy, who charmingly lives out of a van known as the “Bird’s Nest” for the entire climbing season. (I kind of envy his life, even more so after he referred to us as “9 to 5ers”).
So, we spent all of Sunday tucked in a rocky corner just off the cliff of the Potomac River at Great Falls National Park in Northern Virginia, learning to tie new knots (like the bowline), choose anchor points (pro tip: do not choose a dead tree), drill Billy on his rock climbing knowledge, and full-on set up anchor points for safe outdoor climbs. It’s funny, I had the same sort of nervous feeling at the beginning of class as when I took my basic skills class on my first day of climbing. Like how am I ever going to remember how to tie these knots?! But by the end of the day, it was natural and I feel pretty competent. I DEFINITELY need practice with setting up anchors, but this will just give me more of an excuse to get climbing outside more often. And as Alysha put it, we are not definitely more prepared for a zombie apocalypse than we were two days ago.
Let’s be real though, I will probably still buy myself a new bikini. 😉 (Suggestions on replacements for VS welcome).
P.S. I have made it to Insanity phase 2. I did my first phase 2 workout on Saturday, took a day off, and am still ridiculously sore. This is gonna be rough! Wish me luck, y’all, I’m gonna need it!