“Want to go climbing?”

This was AJ’s question in a Facebook Messenger message to me just when I was debating whether or not I should climb yesterday.  The gym was quiet.  I had just finished cycling for 35 minutes and had peddled 6.61 miles’ worth, an improvement from Sunday, and was logging my information into the shared spreadsheet that Taylor and I are using to record my training when this message came to my iPad.  It came at the perfect time.  Of course I wanted to climb!

I left the climbing gym within five minutes of responding to AJ’s message and picked him up from Rocky Mountain College.  We stopped by his place so he could grab his climbing gear and away we went back to the gym.  It was so much fun!  I loved every moment of it!  I attempted Green Slopes (5.7) twice, Yellow Mumps (5.9) three times, and Skittles (5.7) once.  When I fell the third time on Yellow Mumps, I swung out past Brian and said, “Hi, Brian,” in passing.  Emily thought that was particularly funny, as did most everyone else, haha!  In falling off of Skittles, I hit the inside of my left knee on the way down and that really hurt!  I called it a night for climbing (for myself), and still belayed AJ on several more routes.  AJ sent the king line again, which is always fun, because people ask a lot of questions and it gets people stoked to climb.  AJ explained to one curious fellow, “A king line is one that takes up the whole wall.  It’s good for belay practice, too, because you can see how much slack there is between the draws and that helps with belaying for extreme overhangs.”  AJ and another fellow fist-bumped at the bottom of their respective routes and then fist-bumped again at the top after they had each sent their routes for a photo op.  That was fun!  I love climbing and I love my climbing buddies.

After AJ and I had called it a day for climbing and returned to his place so he could switch out bags, we headed to Mazevo’s, a coffee shop, where Emily and AJ were going to study for a while.  AJ asked if I was going to set routes for the Montana Bouldering Championships.  I told him that I thought I’d put route setting on the back burner for awhile and work on training and getting fit.  If I focus on climbing and training and getting in shape, then I can pick up route setting again and it’ll work better.  “I totally agree with that decision,” AJ said confidently.  I was glad he agreed.  We talked about how the climbing would come as the weight came off and he was very impressed with me losing 5 lbs last week.  “I would totally be up for racing you on the bike to see who can go the farthest in 35 minutes, too!”  Haha!  That would be fun!!!  It would be brutal, because AJ and I are both very competitive that way, but it would be so much fun!  I think I’ll take him up on that one of these days!!!  I dropped him off at Mazevo’s and went on home.  After a shower, I fell into bed and slept well.

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