I went to the climbing gym yesterday and when I walked in, I was greeted with big smiles and bear hugs from my friends. McKenzie and Hayden were both excited to see me and McKenzie bounced over and gave me a big old bear hug, haha! I asked if her semester was over and she was overjoyed to say that it was. I was glad. She looked tired, but she was so much happier than the last time I had seen her, which was in the throes of a nursing school semester from hell. I was relieved at how happy and “herself” she was! She’s been training hard, too, and it shows! Now it’s Taylor I’m worried about. I’ll have to catch up with him and see how he’s doing, because he was sorely disappointed in his college experience last time I talked to him, and that was over a month ago. Hayden’s last day is tomorrow, the 20th (Sunday). He’s going to do some guiding out of Red Lodge, but he’ll still be in the area. We exchanged phone numbers so I can call him up and make sure he’s still alive once in a while, and we can climb together sometime, too! He said he’s definitely up for climbing outdoors with me, which is fantastic!!! Emily is in Costa Rica on her study abroad, and I don’t know what AJ’s been doing. I’ll have to catch up with him, too, when I see him, or sooner, if I message him! Shaun was there and I talked to him for a bit. He’s been having flooding troubles with his apartment. It was good to catch up with folks.
I didn’t climb yesterday, but instead took in the ambiance of the climbing gym. It’s my climbing gym. SteepWorld. Not the original, which I miss, but the new SteepWorld, and I just stayed and enjoyed the atmosphere for a while. I got out of there before all the kids showed up for Steep School, but up to that point, it was fairly calm. There were new boulder problems up on the main bouldering wall, so I went upstairs to BoulderLand and looked at what they had up there. That hadn’t changed much since I’d been there last, which was okay. I needed something familiar to look at. I met a new fellow, Steve, who was climbing for only the third time at SteepWorld and told me he spent most of his time climbing outdoors. I could see that was true because his worn-in TC Pros weren’t doing much for his climbing on the plastic holds, but he was in very good climbing shape. He commented on my detailed training log. It was quite a compliment to me. He said he loved ice climbing and that the peg board upstairs on the mezzanine was perfect for getting the lock-off strength for that. He wanted to get better at rock climbing too, though. I was glad to have met Steve. I hope he continues to come to SteepWorld and train on days he can’t get outside. He had a good vibe about him.
So, I didn’t climb, but I did go to SteepWorld, and I did socialize, and I did meet somebody new. I’d say that’s a win for how reclusive and withdrawn I’ve been for the last month or so! Isolation is no good for me. I need to climb! I’ve missed SteepWorld. I’ve missed outdoor climbing even more, but I have to get back into good enough shape to fit into my climbing harness before I do much in the way of outdoor climbing unless I want to go bouldering, which I would love to do, actually! A-bouldering-I’ll-go, a-bouldering-I’ll-go! Thank the good Lord for crash pads! I’ll be bouldering indoors for a bit to get my strength back before trying much outdoors, though. I plan on climbing today at 1000 hrs, before all the birthday parties and crazy stuff starts! I’ll get to see McKenzie and Hayden again today and tomorrow!!!