May 10, 2011

Happy Birthday Sarah! A Rock Climbing Adventure!



I celebrated my birthday recently. This year I wanted to do something special since the last couple of years were spent (while pleasant) rather lethargically. The year 2011 has been good to me so far. It was fitting to fill it with even more adventures: Rock Climbing!

I have fond memories of climbing a small rock wall when I was vacationing in CuraƧao with my family. I wanted to try climbing again but New Jersey has never struck me (or anyone) as a mountainous location. To my surprise, there is a rock climbing gym in Fairfield, NJ which isn't that far away from me!






By no stretch of the imagination am I an athletic person, so it was comforting to read reviews for this gym saying things like "My 8-year-old son loves this place!". If an 8-year-old can handle it, surely I can too! I learned a lot about climbing walls on that day! To my knowledge climbing was – Step 1: See rock. Step 2: Climb it. Step 3: Somehow get back down. Climbing is more complex than it looks. It pushes not only physical limits, but mental limits too. It takes a ton of concentration, stamina, and trust to be able to climb. We had an instructor briefly show us around. He covered things like "spotting" where you need another person to assist you to climb. The Spotter will point out a rock climbing path for you if you can't see it yourself or if you get stuck on the wall. Our instructor also mentioned that there were several ways to climb including belaying which is to climb with a harness and bouldering which is freestyle climbing (no harness). My party of three opted for bouldering.


My boyfriend climbing a path on the wall. Most of the hand and footholds are marked with colored tape to show you the best "path" to climb up. The colors also signify the range of difficulty in the path.


My friend Ping is strangely drawn to to the mystical large rock above him...


The rock gym calls this area "The Cave". It is appropriately named since they want to simulate climbing the roof of a cave.


You can't tell in the photo, but The Cave has a 45 degree angle slope. There are mattresses underneath to protect you if you fall. I took this photo from the top of the cave.


Ping is amazing! He told me that he used to take rock climbing lessons when he was a kid! I think its always cool to learn new things about your friends!


Ha! They're such clowns!


I call this the Pirate Ladder. You're only allowed to use your ARRRRRMS! Get it? Pirate?!! LOL!! That pun was courtesy of my pal seekatiedraw.


Ping is showing off! He's really good at this, it must be because he can breakdance too!


Spotting


Although Ping makes this look easy... that little girl on the corner 50 feet off the ground is making us adults look bad! lol


This is me bouldering traversely, which simply means "climbing sideways". I don't get too far off the ground when I do this, but it sure is taking up all of my muscle power to stay up there. Also... I kind of regret wearing those socks!


My face is priceless here!


My boyfriend climbing over a gap and a ridge! Ha! I was kinda crushing on him big time here. Climbing requires strength and power. Its pretty manly! lol


Yay! My boyfriend again!


More Ping!

I would definitely love to go rock climbing again! It was such a fun way to spend an afternoon!

Afterwards (not pictured) I had a few other friends join me for some super delicious Tex Mex for super cheap! Thanks for coming to my party Jan, Ping, Brian, and Katie!! This was one of the best birthdays I ever had!

Oh yea! I also have to mention that for my birthday, I didn't want any gifts, just good company. But if anyone wanted to give any gifts I asked my guests to please donate to my charity of choice. Ping generously donated to the Red Cross to help aid the Japan Earthquake victims and also the World Wildlife Federation to protect the creatures that I love so much like... Red Pandas! Oh my goodness!! Thank you so much! Best birthday ever!!

8 comments:

cuteordeath said...

Those are great photos! ^^ There's a rock climbing gym here that I used to go to. It was really fun! There were always a lot of hot, shirtless guys there, too. ^_^

Sarah said...

@cuteordeath LOL! Win/Win situation! lol

Yay! You have one too! This makes me wonder if these rock climbing things are popular! It turns out that there are two gyms in my area!

gale said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gale said...

Happy Birthday Sarah!! Are you a Taurus? If so, I am too! This was a wonderful choice for your day. I've tried this place a couple times in college and really loved it and was also surprised that, not being very athletic myself, it was a really great time! You look great up there! hehe.

It's funny, I've been talking to my husband, Jeff about this rock gym lately too and am thinking of trying it once again. Is this something you would start up on a regular?

Have a great day:)

p.s. love your sox!

s0nlxaftrsh0ck said...

As awesome as that looks i highly doubt i have the correct weight distribution/strength/stamina to do that stuff T_T but it looks amazing though!!!

Happy birthday saraaahhhh! ::though that's a bit late::

Phil said...

Wah!!!! HAPPY [belated] BIRTHDAY to Sarah!!!! (^0^)

You look and sound like you had a great time! However, I'm afraid I beat you to it years ago! Back when I was a kid I used to climb the art statues outside my local College. Check them out: http://s0.geograph.org.uk/photos/00/53/005348_a22d022e.jpg

The one with the face was the easiest to climb, the one in the middle was almost impossibe and the other one I only got to the top of once. But still, PHIL > THE BOSS! lol

Glad you had a good time, mate, you deserved one! Hope the good times are still rolling! :O)

- Phil

Sarah said...

@Gale Thank you so much! And happy birthday to you as well fellow bovine creature ha! (I am a Taurus!)

Whoa! so cool that we've visited the same place! I would definitely do it again but I'm not sure if I would be a regular. I do see myself going maybe once or twice a month though!

p.s. My sock choices on that day were either orange socks or purple socks! hahah! My choices would stand out no matter what!

@Thanks Ron!! Well, you never know unless you try. hehehe ;). We should get totally ripped and then do this rock climbing stuff Bruce Willis style! :)
Have a great day:)

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