Thursday, January 26, 2012

Monkey decides to start a blog

This wall was dedicated to Skittles
Yep, the first post introduction, explanations of the whys and whats, yadi yada ya (that's not Chinese, before you ask).

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.

Seems legit.
Except it wasn't. I climbed this little 20ft 'brick holds' climbing wall on the side of the school gym for a few years, same 5 routes, same 5 moves, same 5ridays for 4 years. While this kid Rob Francis showed off dyno moves to make life more interesting, I was kidding myself that I knew how to climb. Ha!

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...
So I should probably have started my blog back then, since I knew after the first session that Rock Climbing IS my thing. Of course I was doing another silly blog thing called the 365 days blog challenge which fizzled out after 2 weeks, no time for Rock Climbing blogging back then - had rock climbing to do!

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.
Monkey Leaves.

1 comment:

  1. Awesome! I was born in the year of the pig. Explains SO much.

    Will be linkifying you over the weekend!