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Rock Climbing

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Two minutes left and I am ¾ of the way up the wall. I’m in the middle of an indoor regional rock climbing competition; this competition decides if you are accepted to go on to the national competition then off to worlds if you pass that. My palms are sweaty, heart racing, and limbs growing evermore exhausted. My hands are holding on to two extremely small holds on the wall called crimpers, they’re the size of your finger tips put together, that’s how big they are. The crimpers have no traction, no friction, no grip. They have as much grip as a bald tire driving down an ice covered road in Alaska. The people who set this climb, planned this move so that the climber would have to throw, not only move off these holds, but throw off and reach for the jug up above. A jug is a different kind of hold on the wall, but unlike crimpers it’s big. Picture a mug screwed on to the wall that’s basically what a jug is.
If only I could get there. My strength was going fast, and even if the last ounce of the energy in my legs could propel myself up there, I don’t think there is any energy left in my arms to even stick the throw. And personally I was terrified for the throw. The jug seemed way out of my reach, plus if I missed it I would fall a good ten feet before the rope, attached to my harness, would tighten stopping me from falling the rest of the way down. As my mind is clouded with doubt I feel my fingers sliding more and more, like little ants are pushing them towards the edge. Then the words of my coach run through my head saying “even when your energy is gone throw for the next hold, you will get points for forward movement, give it your all and go.” I positioned myself for the dino (meaning the throw) bringing my feet up high and transferring all my weight onto my legs. I bounced once then took off. Pushing with that last ounce of energy and extending my arm for that jug…
You know when you have your one moment to shine its do or die? And how that moment seems to go by in slow motion? That’s how this second was for me. For a moment it felt like I was flying through the air in slow motion. I had no physical contact with the wall whatsoever, my feet pointed downward from the push and my hand slicing through the air towards the jug. I have my eyes fixed on the jug as I see my right hand dusted with chalk, mixed with blood from my knuckles, approach the jug then silently slip my fingers over the edge. My hands in I had reached it, but now the force of gravity kicks in and I start heading down. Give it your all; give it your all I think. I can feel the ridged edges of the jug, and the friction that grips my hand keeping it there, which immediately starts pulling my body towards the wall. Instinctively my legs come up to absorb the impact instead of my face. The sound of my feet meeting the wall sounded like guns being fired from all directions, but yet only came from one place. The shot ricochet through out the whole gym, and then there were cheers.
I made it. Not only did I reach the jug I stuck the move. It felt like I just did the impossible. I got my feet on the two crimper holds my hands were on not five seconds ago, and my left hand in the next jug. I chalked up and shook out replaying the move I had just conquered. Accomplishing that move gave me hope which gave me energy to continue on. I made five more successful, but shorter, moves before my strength gave way completely. My arms were numb and screaming at me on the last move I made, but I didn’t care. I gave it my all and left that day with no regrets. That move taught me to try your hardest, because you never know what the outcome might be.





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