l have been a runner for a long time. I have entered quite a few races including 5 marathons. My good friend, Dave is a life long climber (and a very, very good one at that),. For over 30 years, he has been asking me to go climbling with him and I have always refused. I think mostly because I was too scared and didn't want to risk getting injured and messing up my running.
But a few months ago, I don't know what posessed me, but I decided to go climbing with him. I thought, for the first time out it would be fairly easy, probably sort of like a strenuous hike. No. I get there and he starts pulling out ropes and anchors, harnesses and bunch of other stuff that I can't remember or even heard of. Dave starts giving me a quick lessson on the equipment, anchors me to a rock and off he goes climbing up a vertical cliff. He gets up to probably about 60ft. But to me seemed like 6,000ft and he goes, ok, now it's your turn.
I don't think I have ever been more scared in my life. My heart was pounding like it would jump out of my chest. And I remember thinking, well I guess this is how it ends for me. Anyway, I actually started to climb. Dave was amazing. He talked me up that cliff every step of the way. He even had me pullng out anchors that he had placed on his climb. Well, it wasn't pretty, but I made it to the top. What an amazing feeling of accomplishment.
After a few minutes at the top to enjoy the view, it was tinme to go down. Another adventure. Leaning bacwards, holding on and trusting a rope, I started to go down. Again, with Dave's help I got to the bottom. This time, an amazing feeling of pure fun and relief. It is really hard to describe the feelings but to me it's like a combination of fear and exciliration at the same time with a total feeling of being alive.
Anyway, since I have taken up way too much of your time already, I will just end by saying that I am totally hooked on climbing and have been doing it for a few months now. I am still very much a beginner but I am loving it. I should also say that Dave is so careful about safety. He checks and double checks everything. I didn't appreciate this on my first climb, but I was quite safe. Thank you, Dave. I wish I had taken you up on your offer sooner.
So, the Mohonk Preserve has giving me a lot. And my way of giving back is to help raise funds for this beautful place and rto un the "Rock the Ridge" race on May 6th.
All the best!
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