So I finally start exercising; to try and lose a little weight, get something resembling a bicep on my arms, but mostly to give me more scope for wall climbing. My arms are the first things to go after a while of hauling my fat draped carcass up a wall. While you might say that this has more to do with technique and I should be using my legs more – if you are climbing up an overhang, good luck trying to hold on with your toes.
I am, much to my surprise, enjoying indoor rock wall climbing immensely; it can give you a real feeling of accomplishment to scale 15m of wall using only particularly coloured hand holds. I do believe that the initial deal I made with myself made a lot of the difference in how much I get out of it.
When in New Zealand, there are certain things you feel obliged to do. One of them is to throw yourself off a disturbingly high platform. After many brochures and leaflets, the Canyon Swing seemed that it would be more enjoyable than simply throwing oneself of a bridge. I really use the term enjoyable as the feeling while reading the leaflets of the safety within my hotel room. Standing on the platform 109m above the canyon river was the dose of high reality; as far as I was concerned I was throwing myself to my death regardless of the harnesses and cables attached to me.
I regale you with my tale of bravery (apparently, according to the Canyon Swing guide, I let out a manly roar while plummeting) as I realised after much thinking back that I had no trust in the equipment that would be hold me as carefully as the youngest child in a family of twelve and ensure that I would survive like the many thousands of people before me. So when I entered that indoor climbing centre for the first time, I made a conscious decision to believe that the harness and rope would indeed hold onto me – allowing me to not have to worry about anything except going up.
This also, by a welcome coincidence, allowed me to keep at peace while travelling in taxis in India; it was out of my control but many people had, apparently, lived through the journey before me. So it was no matter that I saw more of the front of buses than the back of them, I was relaxed and content to let the universe do its thing.
This all comes back to the title, as once again I seem to be getting in the way of myself. The exercise and climbing has really messed up the skin on my hands, eye lids and feet. It's itchy, painful and very distracting. So I hope to find a happy medium where I can keep going, unlike the squash which I used to enjoy very much but had to give up.