Bucket List Item #1: Learn to rock climb

I have just finished my second week of rock climbing, putting in nearly seven hours worth of climbing and basic training. I have climbed to dizzying heights, fallen off rock walls less than three feet from the ground, learned to tie the “double figure eight” knot in my sleep, and overall came face-to-face with one of my worst fears: exercise.

I’m exhausted.

Last night I finally earned my Belay tag, which means that I’ve learned how to “spot” my partner while she (Tracy Rusch is taking the class with me!) climbs on the rock wall. Basically I make sure the rope is tight in case she so happens to miss a step and fall (which has happened, but only because they make us practice falling). It took Tracy and I both a bit to get used to being so high off the ground, but the more we’re in this class, the better we are at heights.

So, learning to rock climb has been tough, but mostly because I’m so shy with new people. Getting out with people I don’t know, forging relationships and being on the spot as we climb across a wall (climb ACROSS a wall, which is so much harder than UP a wall!) while being watched by the whole class, has really set me outside of my comfort zone. The first time I really panicked at the class was the first day, when I realized how big the place was and how many people filled it each night. However, that panic has lessened since I discovered that pretty much everyone is in the same boat as I am, at one time or another in his or her lives.

When I made the decision to gear my blog in the direction of a “bucket list” theme, I knew that things would be hard. Things come hard for people no matter who you are, and leaving your comfort zone to accomplish something you’ve never done before is a great feat. However, I never really thought about how I would feel once I’ve accomplished those things I have listed on my computer desktop (no, I’m not going to show you in advance). Earning my Belay tag, although small, is something that I am beginning to feel quite proud of. It was pretty hard to get all that information in my head!

I will be in touch soon to let you know how the class is faring. In the meantime, wish me luck that I don’t break any bones!


Music playing while writing this: “Bullet Proof” by La Roux

P.S. I would like to take this opportunity to give a shout out to my little sister Anne, who is now in the midst of planning her very own wedding for October 2012! Good luck! (You’re gonna need it)