The sharp end

Here is a picture of the Tallahassee Rock Gym, brainchild of our good friend Tommy Whatsizface. When the demands of managing an indoor rock climbing empire grew out of control, he sold the thriving business to some other poor bastard. Said poor bastard still owns it today. In fact, he was so excited to own the place that he agreed to a deal which included lifetime free climbing for the original staff and ownership.

I, Juancho Del Medio, was one of those original staff members. My people skills, refined in the cannibalistic world of food service got me the edge, but my prowess as a recently returned from the Rockies below average climber made it a done deal. Also, we were friends. I needed money, and he sort of needed but really didn’t much need at all somebody to sit at his empty rock gym. I did that sitting.

Yesterday I came out of rock climbing retirement and enjoyed a little on belay with Mystery- my only friend who persists in talking about and practicing rock climbing. Why can’t he just let it go?

I rode 50+ miles of trail this weekend, and from that I feel no pain. I climbed exactly 90 feet in three efforts for a total time “on rock” of about 7 minutes.

From this 7 minutes I ache all over. Someone please assure me that the rock gym is not the new skateboard?


8 Responses to The sharp end

  1. Good times back in the day. Cool place. Except when it was hot. Then it was balls hot. That soreness is called spackling syndrome.

  2. I once read both Anna Karenina and War and Peace while babysitting the rock gym during a winter cold snap. Nick Cave up loud and too much coffee.

    I believe I was wearing a union suit too.

    If I ever get back to Tallahassee, how do I convert on my O.G. status?

  3. I went in a while back and saw the photos under the glass still intact. (WH&)Tom hired me in the first year; I forget his convincing 3-word argument but it went along the lines of “you wanna job?”

    A couple years of climb-athons in Halloween costumes, Sydney, and winters huddled over kerosene has left its mark.

    I had one of those “lifetime” passes and lost it, I think on purpose.

    Climb on.

  4. Climbing could be the new skateboard, but you’re the new you! (But just in case, are there mats to fall on, no?) And why is it that, in your photo, no one is actually climbing?? 😉 I could get into that as in, “Wow, I spent 3 hours at the rock gym today!”

  5. The overlap continues: There’s a new rock gym about to open down the street from me. I climbed for about half a year while living in New Mexico back in ’96. I recently bought almost the identical gear I had back then, for a measly $50. I am about to turn 47 this weekend. Now the question: Do I know what I getting into? Either I don’t, or, like Robinson Crusoe, I am repressing helpful info.