Monday, May. 18, 2020 @ 10:41 pm
Several weeks ago in a staff meeting, we all answered the question: what is the first thing that you’ll do when things open up?
My answer: go climbing outdoors.
And so, this weekend, we climbed.
Standing at the foot of the granite wall, double checking my harness, the rope. Counting draws. Looking up at the bolted route, and planning where to place my hands, my feet.
I go first. The familiar feel of warm granite against my fingertips. The sun hot on my bare arms.
I move up the wall. A moment of panic. My body tenses in fear. Relax. You know that you will do better if you breathe and lean out. I continue to the anchor, and Russell belays me to the ground. I am smiling. I am so goddamn happy.
I climb another. And another. And another. Each a grade of difficulty harder than the previous. I accomplish a tricky crux and a woman standing nearby that I know from the climbing gym cheers at my achievement. I figure out another challenging move, and I feel my confidence growing. I feel my shoulders pulling back and straight. I feel my radiance returning. I didn’t realize how grey I had become, but here, under the persistent hot sun, I feel a veil falling away from my soul.
I needed this.
At the end of the day, he drops me off in front of my apartment. It’s odd to be in a car, having not left my neighbourhood in weeks.
He turns off the car. We say goodbye. We kiss.
He nudges his nose against mine and then kisses me again with meaningful tenderness.
“Thank you for belaying me,” he says.
“We made it through this, you and I. And we still enjoy each other. Thank you for encouraging me and making me feel like a good climber.”
“You are a good climber.”