Category Archives: Rock Climbing

That moment when you…

… finally realize that you might never be able to do something you really enjoy.

We took the boys to the climbing wall today with some good friends we have started climbing with last year. Hubby is nursing a back injury & I threatened divorce if he climbed – & as you know I’m the first person to practice what I preach (haha!). So we both just belayed the kids, which is pretty much what I’ve done for some time now but at least the option was still there for me to have a go if I was feeling good. Not now, I had a moment, about an hour after we’d arrived, when I was just standing in the open space of the more difficult/lead climbs. Elder child was grabbing a snack while hubby belayed younger child, & our friends were on the lead wall. I looked around at all the people working their way to the top, their determination, concentration & the thrill of what they were achieving. That’s when it hit me…

The physician’s are running out of solutions to fix my knee. When I see my surgeon again on Friday I think it will be a very frank discussion about whether or not she can help me. Or more to the point, if she is willing to do the only thing that hasn’t been tried yet – surgery of some description. If nothing more can be done to make it even slightly better I will be facing the reality that this is it. No more family skiing, bike rides, hiking, and definitely no more climbing.

Yes there are people much worse off than me, especially when the loss of such trivial activities to some are what’s making me sad, but family time is priceless & these are activities we enjoy together. Ok, so I can still belay & I can après ski, but this is not the same as enjoying those moments that only you share with the people you love. For example, the epic yard sale that one of you has suddenly when you looked like you were nailing every mogul; or the amazing view while sat having lunch at a glacial lake where the dog slipped off a log & fell in; or the cool breeze across your face because you’re enjoying one of those rare occasion in Stanley Park when you can cycle faster than the joggers.

I still want to do all those things because so many other things have taken away. Keep your fingers crossed I can have them back – & soon.

TGI Friday!

  • Both boys off school (again – they were also off yesterday too) because a 3 day long weekend isn’t enough, they apparently need 5.


  • Up early because of the workman, so we took the dog for her normal walk in the forest.


  • Came home, fed the boys, got changed, packed up food & climbing gear & headed to the wall.


  • Spent 3 hours belaying the boys, in-between climbs fed & watered them several times.


  • Back at home rested very sore knee while practicing guitar & swore a lot!


  • Supervised homework & the building of school project.


  • Baked a cake & prepared date night dinner.


  • Fed the boys – again!


  • Fed them cake!


  • Both bathed & ready for bed, then lay on the bed to read stories – which they ended up reading to me.


  • Hubby came home after very long day with a difficult case – he lay on the bed too!


  • Boys in bed – YAY!


  • Hubby made G&T’S & while I cooked date night dinner, eaten while I iced poorly knee.


  • Painkillers for desert, accompanied by more gin & chocolate.


  • Movie night that we’ll both probably fall asleep to!


Have a great family day weekend (to my fellow Canadians anyway 🙂

Silly specs!

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…