Yesterday, after work Tom and I tromped out to a short piece of rock, roped up and went rock climbing. I tried to remember the last time I did this… last summer maybe, on the East Side somewhere? It’s been a long time.
Surprisingly, the mental rust was more noticeable than either my recovering shoulder or even my general lack of fitness. Tom laughed that it wasn’t the muscle memory for climbing so much as trying to remember if the red piece was bigger or smaller than the yellow piece, and was glad that concern for my shoulder had kept him from suggesting something more difficult. Once upon a time, this is the kind of terrain that Tom and I used to cover in what we jokingly referred to as “big swimming motions”. Now, certain sections made me nervous enough to not only pause, but to ask for a tighter rope. We ran into a friend there, who was getting in a quick free-solo at the end of the day. It took us longer to do a single pitch and rap than it took him to climb the entire route and walk down.
On the plus side, my shoulder didn’t seem to mind the climbing, and isn’t even sore today. Afterward my hands had the intoxicating aroma of chalk and ropes and climbing shoes that I associate with so many good times. That short pitch was just a reminder of how much fun I’ve had rock climbing in the past, and an invitation to do more over the course of the summer.
Hey. We should do that again soon.