I used to climb, both indoors & out. In recent years, since I’ve been dealing with ‘it’, I have been known to climb when I shouldn’t have. The consequences of rebelling the way I do are actually worth it. Why do I allow myself to suffer even more pain & discomfort? Well, it’s a family thing. It’s the part of me that expected to be the mum who followed my boys down the double black diamonds, hiking & camping by glacial lakes, & of course climbing. So when we do these things, sometimes I am sensible, sometimes I am not – isn’t that why I have painkillers, so I can enjoy some fun family stuff? Unfortunately they are not always enough to fix the pain, that’s also why I have a physiotherapist, massage therapist, private Pilates instructor.
At least with climbing I can, & do, belay. I still get to enjoy being a part of an activity that now we all love doing together. The fact that my newly turned 7 year old chose to celebrate his birthday with a climbing wall party – hence the ‘rock cake’ – says it all. He was the only one who climbed; none of his friends had even tried it before. It was funny to hear him giving his peers advice like he was a complete pro. Although some of those kids were apprehensive, every one of them climbed well & had a blast. So much so that they were asking their parents if they too could have a climbing party to – Yay! My work here is done!
In between feeding & watering 12 kids, I belayed my elder son, & one of his school friends while her younger brother was part of the party. Their mum stuck around too, as both wanted to have a go. Before the party kids all had their harnesses on my elder son had shinned up 3 auto belay routes. He then moved over to the lead wall where I belayed him. He didn’t actually lead the climb, but he had to unclip & re-clip the rope. I lost count of the number of climbs he did in the end, & I belayed the others too – that’s a lot of belaying. Of course hubby helped out to, but can you imagine how my neck & shoulders would feel after all that constant looking up & pulling on a rope? Well, Pilates has taught which muscles I should & shouldn’t be using, so that sorts out all the pulling, but what about the neck?
Belay glasses of course! Yep, they look utterly ridiculous because I look like I’m wearing 2 prisms over my eyes, but they are FANTASTIC. It means I can just look straight ahead, never needing to look up at all. However, my son did say that not only did I look a bit silly, but he also found it quite funny to watch me answer him if he called down to me. Apparently I looked like I was talking to wall (to be honest as a mother I feel like I might as well be talking to the wall sometimes!). Frankly I don’t care how much I amused, this ingenious invention is a god send for someone like me, & I wasn’t the only one, there were several pairs around the gym.
At the end of the day, although ‘it’ is been tough on us, as a family, it just goes to show that there may be some aspects of an activity you once loved that you might have to give up, you don’t necessarily have to give it all up. It takes time & effort to explore the options, but if your patient, & strong enough not to give up completely, you can always find a way to still enjoy some part of the things you love, & quality family time is one of the biggest drives to help you accomplish that, that has been mine.
Don’t let ‘it’ win…