Saturday, October 23, 2010

A step back, but a fun step back

I hope the kids aren't disappointed. Matty Claus didn't make it up or down the chimney last night.

Actually, I didn't make it to the top of any of the three walls I climbed last night. I said last time that if I have all day I can make it up a wall. Clearly, I was lying.

And it did not even help that I bought my own harnesses and wore kneepads. I looked like a badass, granted, but ...

We went to EarthTreks Columbia. It was fun, but the walls were harder. They ran higher -- 44 feet -- but the problem was the holds were not were I needed them. And even when they were they didn't always have easy places to hold on. J said the walls were harder, but she was just being nice. She and the other folks climbed OK.

J was actually kind of pleased. Yeah, we finally found something that Matt can't climb the first time, she said. She is mean like that. HEE-- kidding!

It was a fun time, as I said, but a bit frustrating, too. I had just told the friend who was belaying me that I liked climbing because of the satisfaction you got from reaching the top and looking down to see what you did.

I still looked down and saw what I did. But I also was able to look up and see what I was unable to do.

I did almost make it to the top on the first climb despite becoming scared for the first time when climbing. I knew I would not fall and on all the other climbs I have swung off the wall and was held up fine by my belayer.

This time was different. I think it was because I actually lost my grip unexpectedly and swung off the wall. I looked down, saw my wheelchair and imagined me falling into it.

Anyway, I recovered and was near-ish the top when my freaking shoe came off. Really. It fell down and there was no hope after that.

When I was trying to learn how to drive with hand controls, I almost killed the instructor because my arms jumped around. Someone encouraged me to just keep practicing, that I would get it. I was sure I wouldn't. I knew my arms would not become less jumpy no matter how much practice I put in -- that is Friedreich's ataxia for you. My arms did not improve, and I don't drive.

Perhaps it is just as well I don't drive. My friends mocked me for saying I like PT Cruisers. Only cheesy guys drive them, J said. They were just as disdainful of square cars. I was too worried to mention my real favorite: Chevy HHR.

But every time I face an obstacle in some physical effort, I wonder if it is an issue or practice or a limit forced on me because of FA.

I am not quitting climbing or anything, but I wonder how much better I can get.


Anonymous said...

ok badass climber, you better not be too tired for the 5K on Saturday!

Matt Trott said...

I can do 5k in my sleep

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