My Experience With Rock Climbing
“Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring………”
Has it ever happened with you that you have been waiting for this one opportunity ever since you set foot in the world. I got this opportunity recently to attempt rock climbing. Well, a few days back when a mighty good friend of mine called me and invited me to this rock climbing competition to put myself in.
So let me take you to this unplanned trip of mine which includes humor, courage, madness, leadership, fitness and craziness. A journey to check the ability to act in spite of fears. It takes emotional strength to accept an invitation to do something when your soul is screaming “No!”.When you encourage your courage, you show yourself, you grow yourself and you know yourself that what actually your metal is.
21.1500*N, 79.0900*E 05:06HRS Raining Heavily
I get a call from my friend that a rock climbing competition at ISA Mt. Abu. was being organised and if I wanted to participate. “Hell yaa! Seriously? Can I participate?” I asked jumping in excitement. “Ok!! Then waiting to see you… Bye..” He said and kept the phone. Now this was serious and I was confused. I seriously wanted to participate (though I was out of shape) and had no idea how I’ld go there and what I’ld do, with no ticket, no preparation and most importantly no permission from dad. But, then life is always full of confusion.
With all my stuff packed I left my place with permission from dad and without clue of my traveling. But being the crazy and obstinate fellow that I am, I went to the railway station, bought a general ticket and was roaming on the platform when I saw a coach that caught my eye “MILITARY RESERVED”. Seeing it, all my insides swelled up and a ridiculous grin spread across my face. This was my place.
Happily I entered and a tall, bulky man with a bushy moustache and intimidating personality questioned me about my who? what?wheres? I smiled incredulously and showed him my dependent card and boasted about my fauji blood (my family’s two past generations being in defence) and he let me in. The compartment rather fascinated me. Beddings , black boxes, ranks and their units and names, this was my place. Dreams. Yes , dreams. The journey was extremely pleasant with fellows just like me, singing and chatting and anticipating.
And finally I reached and realised next day that there were 7 teams and all the guys were badass tough trained skilled warriors. All of them competing for two events one team and other individual. Each team had 5 members. And finally I was introduced to my team led by a tall guy an officer. We were briefed and allotted our respective kits.
What Rock Climbing is all about?
Now rock climbing involves strength, control and finesse. Using the muscles in your arms and legs to pull yourself up a sheer rock needs strength and control. Using your brain to place your hands and feet so that your muscles can do their job — that’s finesse and fitness both. The basic premise behind rock climbing is extremely simple. You are trying to climb from the bottom to the top of something. If that was all there were to it, then you would need nothing but your body and a good pair of climbing shoes. The other part of the sport comes if you slip anywhere along the way. Because of the possibility of falling, rock climbing involves a great deal of highly specialized equipment to catch you when you fall. When we’re rock climbing outdoors on “traditional” routes, we try to use and properly place this equipment is at least half of the sport!
“So you guys ready for SBSBE?” Amandeep asked.
“SBSBE ?” We questioned.
“Stress Buster Stress Booster Exercise!!! That is what rock climbing is, if you get struck it’s a stress booster and the challenge is to go through it and overcome your stress and fear.” He told.
And with this we started the practice, which was extremely painful, tiring and exhausting. I was wondering how will I scale 120feet if I am not able to do 60’ properly. But filled with will to do and fire in the belly I decided not to give up and go for it. In the evening I came back to my room and crashed on bed like a pile of potatoes.
Next morning again we started and the day went pretty well now my body was responding and climbing was getting easier. After an exhausting schedule we went back and our team leader briefed us, as tomorrow was the big day and our most important motive was to scale the feature, winning was not the thing. And then suddenly my nightmare came true.
“Aakash lead karega???” Amandeep inquired.
I was dumbstruck but no was not is option as courage is my thing.
“Yes Sir!!! I will” I confidently assured.
And finally the big day started
A chilly morning and me with a chilly spine and worry. Imagine a 100-foot tall sheet of vertical, continuous, seamless glass. If you had to climb it, it would be impossible unless you had suction cups for your hands and feet. Now imagine a 100-foot tall vertical rock wall filled with cracks and outcrops that are so obvious and so easy to find that you can climb it like you climb a ladder. Rock climbing always falls somewhere between these two extremes. .
So with fear and tension and still trying to be courageous or stupid, I started, in rock climbing as long as a person is in decent physical shape, it’s possible for just about anyone to climb a rock. As the rock gets smoother and the handholds get farther apart and smaller, the climber begins to enter the realm of nuance and finesse. And that is the time when you are tested and you come to know what really your inner core is.
The main challenge for me was to be able to find adequate handholds and footholds, balance on them in often precarious positions, and move from one point to the next without falling. As we went up the route got difficult as there were thin cracks with little to grab hold of. . And that is the time when something worse happened MUSCLE CRAMP, imagine hanging at 80 feet and you are in deadly pain. I felt like crying. But the reputation of my team was at stake because if one guy quits whole team quits. So with a feeling and thought that “PAIN IS WEAKNESS LEAVING THE BODY!!!!!!!”, I took a rest for two minutes and started going up. The toughest part was trying to do most of the work of climbing using legs and try to keep their center of gravity over their feet and then push upwards with their legs. While using arms and hands only for balance and positioning.
There are times in life when you are in pain, when you don’t have the strength to get up and that’s when you got to tell yourself it is possible, I can do it, I am going to get through it, I am going to make my way up inch by inch at a time. That is what is called integrity, that is called courage.
I was in pain still I continued and not only completed the task but won the competition along with the team. If I would have given up then would have been on the bed of base hospital. It’s all about hope and faith you have in you and your team has in you and you need to do justice to it. It’s said that if your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader. So try being one……
Will you too attempt Rock Climbing?
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