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of spider monkeys

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I used to climb years ago. I loved the stone and heights and sunshine and open spaces. No high tech walls with routes and coloured stones really existed then, (at least not in my neck of the woods). But then, in the heartbreak and brain fog that is divorce and custody, I found myself up a cliff wall with no support and no climbing partners. Above me was another 25 feet of rock and below me was the last hundred feet I climbed and some not so pleasant consequences.

I remember thinking in that moment that I really had too much to live for…especially my two babies Jonathan and Kerstin…so I finished the up climb and, shaking, walked out the long way around, and never climbed again. (Not serious rock faces anyway.)

What is that saying that children take after their parents?

Happily, Chloe is much more sensible about climbing and she belongs to a fabulous climbing gym called The Edge. She’s been bugging and bugging for us to have a go with her and finally we said yes.

We didn’t belay, we chose to boulder but we had so much fun. Fun to the max! We got hot and sweaty, were proud of our strong spider monkey girl and watched her complete routes with the smallest foot and hand holds, upside down, crossed arms, splayed toes gripping on to a wall edge, and, although we “old guys” only tried the easier routes, we had terrific fun.

I think we’ll do it again! 😀

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Comments: 9

  • May 8, 2014

    I love(d) to climb too – and do manage an occasional climbing wall trip. Which is wonderful for the buzz but doesn’t bring the same sense of space, challenge and beauty that comes from outdoor climbing……..but it is, as you say, so much safer! Well done! juliex

  • May 9, 2014

    That is brilliant! Love those photos–you caught the lighting (as usual) just right. My youngest belongs to a similar gym, so thrilled for him as he has not been the most athletic of children (skinny, just not athletic). When his older brother went to visit they had a blast on the climbing wall. Can’t wait to see on our next visit 🙂

  • May 9, 2014

    Thanks for sharing your story, Veronica! I liked how you were able to get back to climbing, symbolically and literally. (I haven’t done it in a while, but I remember my first time on a wall. I also got to do a little bit at Yosemite, which was amazing.)

  • May 9, 2014

    It looks like fun and thankfully there is foam below because a fall from up there wouldn’t be so much fun without it. So sorry to hear you experienced the emotional ups/downs of a divorce. Been there and thankfully for me no children were involved.

  • daryledelstein

    May 12, 2014

    i think its fabulous she is so flexible .. me, i would be sitting below watching/photographing

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