Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Monkey see. Monkey do.

Bad blogger Mel is.

But i'm here now. Busy busy busy with 2 deadlines looming on top of everything else. But never too busy for....

ROCK CLIMBING! Saturday was spent hanging onto 20 feet (ya 20 only, didn't have time to do the 50 foot one) cliffs. This is me, gearing up. Me and 9 other death-defying colleagues (who also had nothing better to do on a Saturday morning) went rock climbing at Kg. Kironggu, Inanam. Some of us actually thought it would be one of those indoor-carpeted-air-conditioned rock climbing things. Sorry, wimps need not apply.

We're talking about REAL rocks. The ones where they don't put nice little thingies to grip onto. Safety is, of course, always paramount. This is me getting injured already....

...And this is BEFORE the climb. We had to take a short hike to the climbing area and I actually cut myself. Nice. Nothing major but I just wanted to add a dramatic element to my injury, hence the pic. Our instructor, Basil, gave a demonstration on how 'easy' it was. We were momentarily inspired and everyone figured, "Looks simple enough...". So, monkey see, monkey do.

I was the second batch to go (we climbed two by two) and I thought I'd take the shorter climb (the other one is 50 feet).

"Er, really Basil, do we have to do this?Can't i just imagine how high up it is from down here?"

Anyway, it may have been shorter but everyone later agreed it was tougher. So much for finding the easy way out...

Ok so far so good. Height: 2 feet off the ground. Heart rate: Normal.

Mind you I HATE heights. But here's the amazing thing. Once you're actually up there, clambering and trying to find something to hold on to, the last thing you think about is how far off the ground you are. All you want to do is go up...

OkI had more photos but again, blogger failed me. Anyway, long story short, my first attempt was not successful and I insisted on going the second time. I refused to be the only one who didn't make it to the top! So, push comes to shove, and with the help of my friends cheering me on, I keep climbing. I slip three times, slam against the rock once and I actually gave up again. But my colleagues, bless their souls, screamed at me that I had two more steps to go before I reached the top and it was such a bloody waste of energy to get that far and quit. I grit my teeth and could almost hear 'Eye of the Tiger' play in the background as I forced my jelly-legs to keep pushing my wilted body up. "One more morrrrre...." I mumbled to myself. And finally... A LEDGE!!!! Everyone cheered and I collapsed against the rock in relief. And then I made the mistake of looking down.

Holy cow.

Scaling back down is much more fun. Basically, you sit back in your harness, spread your legs, keep 'em straight and 'walk' down. I think the biggest misconception about rock climbing is that you need to be physically tough. I am anything but that, mind you. The bigger challenge was telling myself that I could do it and find my way up without any help. Consider it a form of mental yoga. It takes a lot more brainwork than you think. And you'd be amazed at how stretchy your body can get when it needs to. Hmm.

Catch January's issue of the Sabah magazine for more details!

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