Mike and Kevin - On the Rocks

Tue, 07/01/2008 - 12:02pm
By: The Citizen

Mike's story

The opening scene of “Cliffhanger” has Sylvester Stallone’s character, Gabe Walker, go out on a long line to save his buddy’s wife or girlfriend. As her equipment breaks, he grabs her hand and tells her to hang on, but she slips out of his grasp and plummets to her death. Great opening to a Stallone movie that was better than most.

The film was on my mind last Thursday as Kevin and I conducted our second challenge of the summer at Reality Indoor Climbing. I didn’t think Kevin or I would be in mortal danger as we worked our way up the walls, but then again I had forgotten how much pain my untrained arms would be in after only a few minutes of climbing. If I snatched Kevin’s hand before a nasty fall, I wondered how long would I be able to hold on. Luckily, we were never climbing at the same time.

Our instructor had us climb a set path at first and both Kevin and I failed to reach the top. I had to quit a little more than halfway from the top when my arms gave out and I couldn’t reach the next foothold. Kevin didn’t do any better. When we were allowed to use any holds we wanted, we both reached the top of the 30 foot wall and rang the bell. The next wall to climb was more complicated, featuring slanted walls and holds on an adjacent wall. Once again, we both failed to reach the top.

On wall climbing it was a draw. When we went to the bouldering room, which doesn’t require ropes and belays, Kevin won. He went further along the wall and somehow had enough strength left in his arms to hold himself up for 10 seconds underneath a wall. I didn’t have enough arm strength left to pull up my socks.

Reality Indoor Climbing is a fun place to go, offering something unique to the community. It is growing, too. Their competition team has grown exponentially and there is a building project underway that will provide climbing walls throughout the building. They are located at 125 Depot Ct. in Peachtree City. For more information, phone 770-487-3224, or visit www.gorockclimb.com

Click here to see Mike and Kevin try to climb

Kevin's story

Spider-Man always has been one of my favorite comic books characters. I love his sense of humor, agility and superhuman strength, plus, like me, he is employed by a newspaper.
(OK, dear readers, I’m sure you’re saying to yourself, “Oh, great, Wandra is about to write an extensive column on a lame superhero. How boring.”)

Not quite.

Another trait that Spider-Man possesses is his ability to climb walls, which allows me to perfectly transition to the second summer challenge my colleague Michael Boylan and I took up last week — indoor wall climbing at Reality Indoor Climbing in Tyrone.

After strapping on our gear, Mike and I attempted to climb the beginner’s wall on a set path. I was excited; it was an opportunity for me to perhaps overcome my fears of heights.
Neither of us made it far up our first climb on the wall. My arms were shaking, and I was pouring sweat. I felt as though I suffered an embarrassing defeat.But I vowed to make my next climb, which was different because it wasn’t on a set path, markedly better.

After watching Mike scale the 30-foot wall, I methodically climbed my way to the top, finishing the climb by whacking the bell atop the wall with my right hand. My confidence was high, but my body, particularly my fingers and forearms, were screaming, “What are you doing to us?”

I eagerly anticipated our next, more difficult wall to climb, one that had slanted walls and a side wall attached to the main wall.

Neither of us made it past the midway point of the wall. I desperately wanted to conquer the most challenging wall we would climb that day, but my forearms wouldn’t allow me to become the second coming of Spider-Man. (I guess I should leave the superhero duties to Peter Parker.)
Mike and I were seeking at least one victory, but we had to settle for a draw. Our competition wasn’t quite over, though.

We walked over to the bouldering room, which was different from climbing the other walls; the walls in the bouldering room were much smaller, and they didn’t require us to rely upon ropes and belays.

I defeated Mike in the wall climbing part of the bouldering room — it’s side-to-side climbing — and a strength challenge in which you have to hold yourself up underneath a wall. In the strength challenge, I held myself up for 10 seconds each time.

Mike struggled, failing to hold on for more than a second each time, but I give him credit for trying.

If you are looking for something fun to do, swing by Reality Indoor Climbing. You might even find me trying to scale the walls once again. But I promise, I won’t be wearing a Spider-Man costume.

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