Test Your Fitness Limits
See Wall? Scale Wall!
"You're joking, right?" I ask aloud, looking up at a 30-foot-high monstrosity that juts this way and that. I'm certain the footholds aren't strong enough for a woman of my stature.
"Just chalk up good so your hands won't slip," my instructor, Jonathan, assures me, tightening the belay rope that will, he swears, keep me from plummeting to the earth.
I look over and see a boy no older than 6 swiftly ascending a 24-footer, his dad cheering below. Not to be outmatched by the squirt, I grit my teeth and frog-leg up the wall in less than four minutes, feeling like Lady Tarzan.
"Women are more natural climbers than guys," Jonathan explains, deflating my ego. "They instinctively know how to shift their hips and move their bodies at different angles. We dudes just try to muscle it." Here's what I hear: You're not special; you just have a chromosomal advantage. So, ha!
My scrawny arms set out to prove him wrong, and I heave myself up three more walls, each climb quicker than the last, until my body starts to crumble as I reach the halfway point on the fourth wall. An overwhelming ache creeps across my shoulders; heat shoots up my calves. In the past this would be the moment when I panic and throw in the towel. Today I write a new narrative. "I'm...not...stopping!" I scream to no one in particular.
With my fingers clinging to the purple handgrip, and my two big toes stacked atop a crevice no wider than my BlackBerry, I spring desperately toward the next foothold. Snatch! After another 20 excruciating minutes of clutching and self-goading, I finally reach the summit.
"Who's your mama?" I exclaim, raising both fists in the air. One down on my bucket list, three to go.
What do you think of this story? Leave a Comment.