Friday, April 29, 2011

Rock Climbing

Yesterday I went to the rock climbing wall in the gym. I met someone I knew from philosophy club, and he showed me the basics. I have been on climbing walls before, but I now realize that what I did before was just super-simple amateur playing. I had never done actual bouldering problems before, and it showed. I could barely handle the easiest V0 stuff.

It is amazing how specific your muscle and skill development can get. I can easily fling myself up a flat 9-foot wall, grab the top, and pull myself up. I can climb trees very quickly and easily. But when I cannot get a running start, and when I cannot wrap my hands around something large and solid, my ability to scale a surface suffers an alarming decline. In rock climbing, you have to navigate precarious grips one careful limb movement at a time, and keep your body well-balanced. It is a different problem than I have faced before, and my skills do not transfer well.

It has been a long time since I tried any physical activity and found myself doing so badly compared to others around me. I will have to work to develop both the muscles and the skills needed for this. Despite the fact that I am in very good shape, my forearms got tired pretty quickly, my back is sore today. Next semester, I will try to get in the habit of doing this for a half-hour before my martial arts practice, at least once a week.

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