This weekend I went to an indoor rock climbing gym with some friends. I had been several times before, but this time I learned two very important lessons.
1. Climbs have ratings. Who knew? Not me. Apparently they involve the number five, followed by a decimal point and a number. The five means that the climb is vertical (or inverted) and requires the use of ropes. The number after the decimal indicates the level of difficulty. A 5.6 or 5.7 mean that I can climb to the top. A 5.9 and above means that I cannot make it past the halfway point.
2. Muscles fatigue and then fail. Again, who knew? I’d felt the forearm burn. I’d even felt the little, itty-bitty muscles in my fingertips beg for mercy. But I had never actually had them revolt on me. But there I was, clinging to the rock like a booger on a finger, trying to scale a 5.9er. I shifted my weight, tried to push up and … I was floating counterclockwise to the ground. Worse yet, my one of my fingertips was bleeding. Who’s crying? I wasn’t crying.