climb every mountain.

shortly after i returned from los angeles from my stint on celebrity fit club, i was looking for new and interesting physical activities to try out. winter was approaching and the days were numbered on my favorite of activities, walking and jogging outdoors. i won a gym membership and i was going to the gym, but as i’m sure most of you can attest to, gyms kind of suck. they are intimidating and monotonous and the idea of touching equipment after i have imagined the previous 10 people who have touched it not washing their hands after they went to the bathroom, kind of grossed me out.

while i was in los angeles, i went to visit my sister marcia in denver colorado for a long weekend. she is an outdoorsy gal and goes rock climbing and mountain climbing and does all sorts of other outdoor activities that i, well…don’t. we drove to red rocks amphitheater and i ran up the steps there and even did a little climbing on some ledges. we are talking kindergarten rock climbing here. nothing serious and no fancy equipment. i thought this might be something fun to try at a later date.

last winter my friend erin and i decided to check out this indoor rock climbing facility in philadelphia called “go vertical” as soon as we walked in we knew it was cool and otherwordly and we were really excited until we talked to the people at the front desk. before we could even start climbing, we would have to sign waivers, basically stating that we understood that this could be dangerous and that we couldn’t sue if something went wrong. we would also would have to get certified in belaying, which is when your climbing partner applies friction at the other end of the rope whenever you are not moving and removing the friction from the rope whenever you need more rope in order to be able to continue climbing. basically making sure you don’t come flying off of the wall and break your leg. it’s a totally frightening responsibility, if you ask me! we would also have to pay the fee to climb and the rental fee for equipment and by the end of it, we decided it was too expensive and too much of a hassle so we left and i think might have gone for mexican food and a spicy margarita instead.

months went by and erin and i would very occasionally mention that we should try it again. last summer i bumped into my friend melanie who climbs at go vertical and asked me to join her sometime. i thought, why not, but it was summer and i was exercising outside again so i didn’t really heavily pursue it.

about a month ago, i was at my local fabric shop “spool” doing a launch party for my new fabric line “habitat” and in walks melanie and her friend genell. i don’t want to say that they cornered me because i was set up for a meet and greet in the corner of the room, but they totally cornered me. my time was up. i could no longer put it off or make excuses that i was scared, which i completely was, any longer.

so last week erin and i met melanie and genell for our first taste of indoor rock climbing. they go all the time so we got a discounted guest pass and they took control of the belaying and all we had to do was rent the equipment, which consisted of a harness, some carabiners and some pointy toe shoes, which stunk of sweaty funk and lysol and were so dang tight that by the end of the night i could fully commiserate with the women of asia who were forced to bind their feet.

it was a fun experience and definitely one i will have to try again. however, next time i will have to remember to stretch out my hands. and my forearms. and my upper arms. and my upper back. and my lower back. yes marcia, i know, “use your legs”!

3 thoughts on “climb every mountain.

  1. Good for you, Jay! I just started silk acrobatics, which is quite similar….without the belay and harness, though. If you try it again, remember to warm up your arms and legs first and right after the climb, have a good long stretch.

    Weight bearing exercise helps you keep strong bones.

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