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Hello there. I think that I’m going to stay anonymous for now, but I can tell you that I’m planning to be a mountain climber when I grow up, which is why I’m here, getting ready for my first bouldering lesson. Now, before you start thinking “Hey, you should know something!” as far as mountains and me go, I’m not really into rock climbing. Yet. I have seen a documentary about a person who free solo-ed a cliff, and I have hiked at least a few times, though none were very steep. Now, if you’ll excuse me for a second, I’ll meet you at my first route.

Hi! Just met up with my coach, and now I’m going on my first route! I put both hands on the starting hold, and then hoisted myself onto the wall. I found the right holds, and with my coach’s help, I made it to the top. Then my coach told me to jump off the wall. I gave him a look of disbelief. He just grinned, and I sighed, took a breath and jumped, hitting the mattress intact. My coach said that I was doing great, and I was ready for a harder route. I tried it, and I was doing fine until the middle, where two holds were far apart. I moved my feet, put my hands on the hold and hauled myself up to the top.

It might be worth mentioning that I’m not very athletic. But nonetheless, I mustered the strength that I needed to get on the hold and complete the route. My coach said that I needed to practice that route more, and that’s what I did for the next bit. After going up and down some times, my coach set me a challenge: I had to climb the wall sideways, using any holds I wanted without falling off. I started and quickly realized that it was essential to know which holds are “good” and which are “bad.” Here’s an explanation:

You could only step on the flat parts of the large round rocks, otherwise you would more than definitely slip off. You also needed to keep distance between your arms and legs, because if they were too close, then your elbows would collide with your knees, but if your limbs are too far apart, then you end up stretching, and that hurts! I kept falling at this point where I had to stretch my leg to get to the next hold, but I kept slipping in the process. I asked my coach for some advice, and he told me to “jump.” I gave him my look again, and he demonstrated. I had to release one foot while I land the other. I tried it, and it worked! I made it halfway across the wall when the lesson ended. Want to know what I learned next lesson? I do too!

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