This is not a photo of me. This is a photo of the founder of the Tallahassee Rock Gym, my former employer. In the sale of the Rock Gym a couple years ago, a rider was attached to the contract granting a small number of Rock Gym Mafia permanent lifetime climbing privileges.
I am one of those mafia.
Mystery, the untameable stallion, also known as the hardman, insists that we must go climbing on our upcoming sojourn to the Blue Ridge mountains. Yesterday, I went to the gym to prepare myself-physically and mentally- for the challenges of rock climbing. I have already begun the physical preparations with the inclusion of pull-ups into my gym routine (Yes I still go to that pestilence-ridden creepfest, Thanks again S’quatchy!). I am currently working on 3 sets of 1 single pull-up. Very humbling, very embarassing, but hey, Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither was my swarthy physique. 3 sets of 1. Picture it.
I approach the counter of the Rock Gym yesterday, and I am greeted by a spritely alterna-cutie named Sarah. The new ownership has already made some strategic improvements.
“Hi, I’m Juancho Valdez. I have a lifetime pass to climb here”. I have never used this privilege because that statement sounds so obnoxious, but I am acting under orders so it must be done.
She gives me a scrutinous appraisal and says, “I’ve always wondered what you looked like, I’ve seen your card a thousand times”.
Well, get a good look baby, get a real good look.
Four painful trips up the wall later and I was cooked. It wasn’t so bad though. My fingers tried to remember. The rope felt normal in my hands. I only dazed off a couple of times while I was belaying Mystery and he never knew the difference, so it’s cool. I think I will go back. This variation is in keeping with my “Day Like No Other”.
I need to be mixing it up out there. This damn blog gets my best material.