Really psyched to climb this morning!

Sunday morning and I’m psyched to climb in my Lowa Rocket climbing shoes!  Let’s send some routes!!!  I’m hoping that I can get to the gym right when it opens and get my route climbs in on the auto-belays before the little kids get there and their parents tie them up with the auto-belays like leashes for dogs…  That really irritates me.  The auto-belays are used by other people, adults included, for much more than a babysitting service because people want to unload their kids on something or someone!!!  I don’t hate kids.  I don’t particularly like them, but I would give my life for one if that were necessary – let me put it that way.  Kids love me.  I don’t know why.  Maybe I remind them of a grumpy grandparent who makes them smile…or their aunts and uncles or friends who get stuck watching their spoiled-brat selves while their parents go out to eat steak at a fancy restaurant and the aunt and uncle or friends are feeding everybody the store brand of Mac-n’-Cheese for supper.  Kids need to be taught.  That’s what I’m saying.  They need to be taught the etiquette and manners and rules of the climbing gym, just like they need to be taught those things for everything else.  The problem is that the parents don’t teach them these things, either because they don’t care to or they don’t know these things themselves.  Even after careful instruction at the door and a guided tour of the gym, complete with certifications and such, kids and parents alike continue to screw this up!!!  How does this happen?!  They weren’t listening to a word that was said and they think that their wants are more important than everyone else’s.  In short, they’re selfish and have a sense of entitlement that is unrivaled by any.  That’s where curmudgeons like me step in and say, “Hey, wait your turn!” or, “Are you going to climb?  Because if you aren’t, I’d like to use that auto-belay.”  My favorite is, “Where are your parents?”  That takes care of things fairly quickly if the kids are misbehaving in most cases.  There are sociopaths among them, but fewer than you might think.

Now, I’m not complaining about kids being in the gym.  I think it’s great that kids are getting exposure to climbing at early ages because I wish I’d had the opportunities they do when I was a little squirt!  Climbing just hadn’t come that far as a sport in the early 80’s though.  We definitely didn’t have commercial climbing gyms in Montana and Wyoming!  My parents were hard-working people who didn’t have time for much besides work, so I entertained myself outside and did my share of climbing and digging and running around exploring the outdoors when I was a kid.  AND IT WAS GREAT!!!  Kids need the kind of exercise and challenge that climbing offers!  I really believe that!  So I’m glad to see well-behaved kids who have a good blend of confidence and humility climb on the walls in the gym.  None of that rough-housing horseplay and screaming, though.  I hate that!!!

Enough about kids, though.  I want to try my Lowa Rockets on some roped routes and hopefully the auto-belays will be free this morning.  Even better would be someone there who could belay me on toprope so I could try a few of the other routes, but I’m happy with auto-belays if nothing else.  Auto-belays don’t judge…  Yay!  I’m going climbing at the climbing gym in just a little over an hour!!!  The weather’s perfect outside today, too, so I might even get a bike ride in!!!  We’ll see how long I climb…

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