Date 2 of 52 Indoor Rock Climbing Date
Date 2: Indoor Rock Climbing
Mood: Excited and nervous
Location: Granite Arch Indoor Climbing in Rancho Cordova
Time Spent: 1.5 hours
Fails: Slow to leave the house and didn’t make it to the 4p.m. On Belay class (the skill you need to make sure your partner does not fall and die)
For week 2 of our 52 week date challenge, we put our lives in each other’s hands and went indoor rock climbing at Granite Arch. What a wonderful facility and such friendly staff!! Both of us have rock climbed before (in our pre-kid years), but have not gone in a while. We attempted to make it to the 4p.m. class called On Belay ($8 – not a bad price to stay alive). However, with long goodbyes and trying to find our harnesses that were in a random garage bin, we were late. There was another class at 6p.m., but we only had our babysitter for a couple of hours. When we checked in, the worker let us know that they do short refresher courses for people who just haven’t climbed recently. We decided we would test our memories. Off to the side, we practiced our knots and belay lingo before attempting our test. While Mrs. Smooch just stared blankly at the ropes, Mr. Smooch quickly made the starting knot. As a former rock climbing camp kid, doing the knots and belaying came back to him like riding a bike. He gave Mrs. Smooch a quick review before, we both attempted our test with the Granite Arch staff. Even if we both failed the test, we could do the quick review course or just stick to the self-belay climbs (a great option if you want to climb next to each other). With the help of the calming Granite Arch staff, and with Mr. Smooch being a great teacher, we both passed the belay test. Now we had each other’s lives in our hands.
During the climbs, we had to communicate quite a bit to make sure the climb went well. Climbers may need to tell their belayer that they need more or less rope (slack) or they may need the belayer to cheer them on when they feel scared to step up on a weak foot hold. After several climbs, we realized that our climbing muscles have not been awoken in a very long time, especially our forearms and hands. After an embarrassingly short amount of time we felt like we couldn’t open and close our hands very well. We did not let each other fall, though, and the date reminded us of how even after 17 years of being together, we still can’t read each other’s mind. We have to tell each other (in a nice way) what we need, whether it be a little more slack on the rope or that we need assistance in finding a child’s shoe (again). Our assumption that what we need is obvious, can be a really bad assumption and a classic example of lazy communication. In the case of a climber assuming that the belayer knows what he needs, can cause lots of physical harm. In life, lazy communication just causes a build up of annoyance or scrutiny. We are very thankful for this date, and the reminder, that we are not mind readers.