Bouldering with Brian

When I got to the climbing gym today, I had forgotten that they’d had an Easter egg hunt in the gym from 0930 hrs to 1000 hrs.  Therefore, at 1015 hrs, when I arrived, there were a lot of kids there!!!  There were just a lot of people there in general, but the kids ratchet my anxiety up an extra few notches because they’re loud and noisy and they run around when and where they’re not supposed to.  I searched for an open cubby.  Dian, my friend, hailed me from across the gym and pointed to an open cubby next to hers.  Thank goodness for that!  I put my valuables away in my locker in the bathroom and then decided that I’d start with some warm-up training on the stationary bike up on the mezzanine.  I cycled for 30 minutes and recorded it on the spreadsheet that Taylor and I share online for training purposes.  I’ve been climbing lately, and not training aerobically, so I imagine it will be a welcome entry when Taylor checks it the next time.  After that, I decided to sit on one of the boulder-pad benches and contemplate my next move.

About that time, Brian walked in with his big grey duffel bag.  He sat down across from me and looked around nervously at all of the people.  He said he hadn’t realized the gym was going to be closed on Sunday, so this was the first Saturday he’d ever come to the new climbing gym.  I told him that Saturdays were crazy, but especially so today because of the Easter egg hunt earlier.  He asked me if I’d found any Easter eggs.  We laughed and he and I shared some of our most disappointing moments growing up – a sort of nostalgia of misery – as we recounted these past traumas and we decided it was good those times were behind us.  Brian unzipped his bag and picked through it.  He had five pairs of climbing shoes and some other odds and ends in there.  I laughed and he said that’s probably why it was so heavy.  He could be a shoe rep with all those shoes!!!  I’m the same way, though, haha!  I try to force myself to go minimalist to the gym and I have several bags set up at home with the appropriate gear to go with the pair of shoes I’m taking that day.  Climbers and their shoes…  Brian asked if I wanted to boulder with him and said he’d clear the way for me.  I transferred my stuff to a cubby in the bouldering area, now that one was open, and got my Skwamas out.  Brian already had his Skwamas on and was checking out his first target.  “You working on anything special?”  I told him I wasn’t really, except for the green, extremely overhanging V1 problem that began with the four-leaf clover start hold.  The first problem I attempted was a purple V0 that Brian climbed right before I got on it.  I attempted it four times, and on the fourth attempt, my foot slipped off the hold and I had a good, clean fall to the mat below.  It’s good to have an unexpected fall once in a while.  It reminds you that falling isn’t anything to be afraid of because you practice it enough to be trained how to fall safely most of the time when it’s unexpected.  My third attempt had been a really good one and I had managed to get halfway up the purple problem.  The next problem I attempted was my green overhanging juggernaut.  It wasn’t happening today, I found out two-thirds of the way up, and I dropped safely.

Chad came over and put a hand on Brian’s shoulder and a hand on my shoulder to wish us a Happy Easter and to say goodbye.  I hugged him.  Chad is another great fellow that’s been climbing for 10 years longer than Brian, even!

The third problem I attempted was a green V1 problem on the prow that required a layback technique and pulling an extremely high left foot very low on the problem.  I attempted it and will have to stretch and be really good and warmed up before I try pulling that high foot so that I don’t pull another muscle, like I did on my right side.  One of my glute muscles is still suffering the consequences of trying a move like that on a roped route several months ago.  It’s always sore…  I told Brian I had to go, and thanked him for climbing with me.  “Yeah, it was fun!  We should do it more often!”  I held out my fist.  “Knuckle bump.”  Brian kept working away at a few problems while I got my valuables from my locker.  I came out and asked him, as he sat alone on the bench, if he’d sent the green V2 yet.  He laughed and said he thought I was gone already.  “The answer is no.  I’ll give it another try.”  He sent it as I watched.  I cheered for him as he made his way back down the wall and over to the bench.  Wishing him a Happy Easter, I departed.  It was a good day for me, and I was glad that I got to share it with my climbing buddy Brian.

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