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bear by san

March 2017

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Clinging.

My Storytellers Unplugged column for November is up.

It's about rock climbing, and Chaz (Remember Chaz? Poor Chaz. He's turning into one of Those Characters, like Jenny and Kit.) and how writing is like everything else.

And now, I need to go to the gym and the massage therapist, and pay for falling off walls last night.

Comments

I went climbing yesterday, too. I've only been three times and I haven't quite decided whether I like it. When I'm going up the easy walls, it's great. When all the easy walls are taken and I'm going up a more difficult route with an overhang on a really stretchy rope (so if I stop to rest with my weight on the rope, I go down a metre), I feel like a five-year-old who's been awake too long.

I enjoy watching the other climbers, though. I never thought about the link between climbing and gymnastics before I saw the gracefulness of the experienced climbers. A friend of mine makes even the hard routes look like ballet; yesterday someone was bouldering with arms only, legs curving gently for balance around the overhang.
I like outdoors much more than indoors, but indoors is, at least, practice.
;-)

The physical ones are more fun.
Great read. I've linked to it, hope that's cool.
Absolutely! Thank you!
Hmmm. Does the character just do indoor and bouldering, or trad as well? Sadly you missed Climbfest (more sadly, I missed Climbfest) and it looks like the Tuesday/Wednesday night climbs are off for the season (not surprisingly). Depends on how much you want to get into the guy's head!

(Incidentally, you don't have to stay close to the rock...on a vertical wall, sure, but the key is to keep the weight over the feet. On non-vertical pitches, a common mistake--I make it all the time--is to "hug" the rock and take weight off the shoes, which decreases the friction.)
*g* Only time will tell....
But Bear, you can lean back with your arms straight--it puts weight on your skeleton rather than the more-likely-to-fail muscles in your arms and shoulders, and makes a good rest. Counterintuitive and helpful, the best combination of all.

I'm really looking forward to reading the result of all this research. :)
You would think so, but it doesn't work that way practically. Still tires my arms out, and more importantly, my hands.
Thank you for doing some actual climbing before writing about it. It's amazing how much fiction I've run into where the climbing is just wrong.

[BTW, as other people have mentioned, it is possible for, at least, some of us to lean back with our arms straight. However, you have to relax, and truly hang off your arms. Relaxing can be an issue. You have to trust that your feet will stick. Pulling your upper body away from the rock means pushing your lower body into the rock. Also, well developed forearms never hurt. At some point, there's a grip issue. If you can't maintain at least three points of contact, you're likely to fall.]

Also, reading about how writing is like climbing makes me feel much better about the story I'm currently slogging through. (In fact, I should be writing it right now rather than this comment.) What an apt metaphor...

Thank you.
I try to either do most things I write about, or talk to somebody who has done them, if I can't. Third fallback is extensive reading. :-P

Who knew this gig meant a lifetime of (%&^%* homework?! That's not in the brochures!

I have a lot of old joint trauma, and putting weight on my elbows, unless they are flexed, hurts.

Also, I weigh in at over 200 pounds, and hanging off my elbows and bad shoulder is generally not a great idea unless the muscles are engaged. Although my therapist is working on breaking up the scar tissue in my shoulder, so if I survive the experience (ow) I may get more strength there.