|This wall was dedicated to Skittles|
Let's talk history. I was born in the Year of the Monkey under the Chinese zodiac (I'd have preferred Panda but apparently that only comes round like once every 127 years), and just like everyone else who were born in the same Lunar Year, I was born slim and agile like a monkey and I 'Entertain' others with my antics, sometimes with horrific consequences.
I'll be honest, climbing hadn't always been 'my thing'. You see, I've got this slight handicap where I shit bricks at high altitude. It's not exactly vertigo or acrophobia, I guess height isn't the issue, the idea of falling is - and there's nothing irrational about that.
I suppose ultimately, I'm just uncomfortable with the idea of exposure to unnecessary danger, just like monkeys.
So how the hell did I get into Rock Climbing?
Easy! Some clever bastard learnt from nature and invented ropes, and rock climbing became an EXTREMEly safe SPORT. Ask me to stand by on the edge of a tall building - no; ask me to abseil down the side of said building - pass me the belay plate. The rope just does that magical thing to me (bondage related jokes in the comments please).
And so this story started when I was 15, fresh and properly Chinese (accents and all), arriving in the UK to study, when "Hello! What's this you guys are doing in the gym after school on a Friday afternoon?" happened.
The rest, as they say, is history.
Fast forward 12 years, my feable facial hair density had not increased; the rest of the hair on my face remains unruly; my interest in Rock Climbing unphased; my naïve belief that I could climb unchanged.
Then one day, RedPoint Climbing Centre (awesome place, awesome staff, awesome cakes) helped my work place setup a charity abseil event. My colleagues said "Let's try out rock climbing!"
And the rest, as they say, is the real history.
|Ancient Fucking Aliens...|
Still, I have this handy thing called 'distorted memory', and so after about 10 months of on and off climbing, I'm doing the 'putting words down about my rock climbing journey' thing, inspired mostly by Awfully Fabulous.
Here's the plan, I'm going to retrospectively talk about my Rock Climbing journey from the beginning, while continuing my current journey from present day. It'll be some sort of parallel narrative that explores the inverted symmetry of life and shit, challenge your grasp on time, space and muffins. There may be guest appearances from fictional characters and high profile celebrities (Charlie Brooker, if you're reading, I'm still waiting for that call). Some may have been real (especially my imaginary friends), some may be made up, I'll let you decide.
|Charlie posing after onsighting the wall behind him.|