Friday, October 12, 2012

Getting it back...

It's been over six months since I had surgery on my knee; almost eight months since I tore my ACL. Today I finally climbed 5.10 again. For those of you who aren't familiar with climbing ratings that won't mean much. For those who are familiar with climbing ratings, you'll probably think, "whoopdee doo" and I don't blame you, especially because it was in a gym and not on real rock. Still, I've only had a few chances to climb since my knee has been well enough to do so, and I was pretty sure when I roped up today that I would be struggling on routes that I would have found easy 8 months ago. I am pleased to report that this is not the case. I was just getting back into climbing shape after a two year hiatus before I injured my knee, so I was flashing 10s consistently and working my way into the 11s. 8 months later, I'm just pushing my way back into the 10s but that's still a lovely achievement.

For those who know nothing about climbing think of the following: anything from 5.0 to a  5.4 is like walking up steep scary stairs that you might need to use your hands on occasionally 5.5 to 5.6 is like climbing a ladder made of rocks. 5.7 is like climbing a ladder that is missing a rung or two. 5.8 is climbing a ladder missing a rung or two requiring a bit of creativity. 5.9 is climbing a ladder that's missing quite a few rungs and may have consumed some illicit substances just before hand. 5.10 is either a ladder with very few rungs that's trying to lean over to touch the other wall and possibly also kick you off, or a ladder that has almost no rungs left, but which you can sometimes get to the top of by shimmying between the legs or digging your fingernails in deep. 5.11 has never met a ladder in its life and wishes you stop trying to climb it. 5.12 thinks that you're very silly for trying to climb it and would like you to know that that tickles. 5.13 wants you to know that unless people are paying you to climb you're probably barking up the wrong tree. 5.14 laughs in your face if you even think about climbing it and if you can climb it and people aren't giving you money to do so they really should be. 5.15 is the hardest climb in the world.

For those wondering, yes, the decimal scale is clearly stupid if it's going to go past 5.9. When it was started it wasn't supposed to go past 5.9, now it goes to 5.15 (and yes we're pretending that that's higher than 5.2 - it's not a mathy thing).

So, anyway, I'm excited to be back to climbing 5.10 and looking forward to pushing back into the 5.11 territory. It is a life goal of mine to one day climb 5.12. I'm never likely to climb harder than that, and I'm very much ok with that. Getting back into climbing at all is a huge relief and I'm seriously looking forward to making progress this winter and getting strong for the Spring. A big part of this for me is losing weight (via running, biking and swimming) because it's a lot easy for me to haul my ass up a rock face when my ass doesn't weigh so much. It's all about strength weight ratio, and as a female it's easier to close that gap by losing weight than by building muscle.

Anyone who isn't a climber has probably had their pants bored quite off their bodies by now. I apologize for the breeze and hope to make up for it by posting a new short story in this next post. If you'll just put your pants back on... we'll wait...

Ready? Good. See you in the next post!

No comments :

Post a Comment