Yesterday I drove a couple of hours north up to Vedauwoo, which is outside Laramie, Wyo, to meet up with some friends to do some climbing. It was a somewhat special occasion as A & D are living a little bit closer than they have in more than two years, so I met up with them and Kate and Mark to try our luck at The Voo.
I was feeling a little nervous because a) I haven't climbed since I hurt my shoulder back in April and b) The Voo, which is notoriously hard climbing and doesn't cater to whatever climbing strengths I might have. The Voo is full of off-widths and chimneys and cracks and I hate hand-jams. I am not a talented climber. It is not innate to me. I struggle nearly every single time I go out and rarely have gains in skill level. And if I do, they are nearly infinitesimal. I really do enjoy it though. It gives me a sense of accomplishment like nothing else, so I keep going out there and flailing around, hoping that one day, something will click and I'll figure out how to actually do this thing.
At any rate, yesterday was as terrible as I'd feared it would be. I had a much harder time than everyone else did on the two climbs I did. But, one tiny thing was different in that I didn't give up even though I was struggling. Usually, if I feel like I've been on a climb too long and I'm not getting anywhere, then I decide to come back down without finishing. Yesterday, however, I stuck it out and bulled my way through the hard moves and finished, so I felt pretty good about that.
And, it doesn't seem that I re-injured my shoulder any. Both of them are sore and tired today, but it's the kind of sore you get after working out really hard, it's not the kind of sore that means you might've torn something important.
This might mean that I can start climbing again.
'The Help' - After getting about three million recommendations, I decided to put the 'it' book of the year on my list at the library. A few pages in and I've decided that it's good. It's well-written and Stockett does a really impressive job at telling a story from different people's points of view, which I've always thought was especially difficult. So, she's to be commended for that. So far, it's pretty fluffy though and is not especially challenging or intellectually stimulating. I've just reached 'the hook' however, so maybe it's about to throw down.
The Tin Drum - Gunther Grass has been on the 'you're supposed to read this guy, although no one ever made you' list that I've kept since I graduated from college. Last year a publisher put out a reprinted edition of 'The Tin Drum' and I decided to buy it as part of my 'read a classic each year until you die' project. I love it. It's well-written and the language flows in a way that is more poetry than prose. It is incredulous and fantastical and stretches suspension of disbelief almost to the breaking point, but it is a beautiful story with a character who is infinitely more endearing than Ignatius J. Riley even though he is almost as much of a social misfit. I had to stop reading it in order to plow through three others before their library due date arrives, but I'm looking forward to picking it back up again and seeing what Oskar has been up to while I was away.