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Nicodemus

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A Personal High [Feb. 25th, 2004|03:30 pm]
Nicodemus
[Current Mood |thoughtfulthoughtful]

Yesterday, our office went to a retreat/celebration at City Beach to celebrate a product release that I wasn't, really, involved with. But I got to go anyhow, which is pretty cool.

City Beach is a bizarre indoor party/athletic facility. It's a clever use of empty warehouse space, basically. They serve a buffet meal (mediocre mexican), do some teambuilding games (not as bad as they could've been), and then have free access to different sorts of games and sports equipment.

I was having fun since they had bocce ball. It's a fun game that's about equal parts skill, strategy, and luck. Turns out my manager's pretty good, being experienced in a french variant called petanque.

But the surprise, for me, was the climbing wall. City Beach's facilities always have those artifical climbing walls with little footholds bolted into a sheer surface. To make it safer (although their Fremont one has an open and all-angled area) they put you in a climber's harness and have a staff member on a safety rope. (This also allows you to rappel down.)

I've never tried these before. The single reason for this is that I'm acutely acrophobic. To put it in perspective, I dislike standing near balcony railings; I don't dare lean on them. I get wobbly going up a 10' step ladder.

But I gave it a try. I wanted to and I knew, intellectually, that it was safe. It was quite challenging personally. (The biggest tip, besides the obvious "Don't look down", is to keep your body pressed as close to the wall as possible.)

I reached out and rang the bell 30' above the ground! Dang! I came down rather quickly after that and was trembling slightly, to be fair; I certainly didn't linger and savor the height. But I was still proud of managing to overcome the stiff psychological challenge.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: diadexxus
2004-02-25 11:58 pm (UTC)
*laugh* our company brought us there a couple years ago.. very cool.
Cool about the climbing.. I have a huge fear of heights!

-J
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[User Picture]From: diadexxus
2004-02-25 11:59 pm (UTC)
*laugh* our company brought us there a couple years ago.. very cool.
Cool about the climbing.. I have a huge fear of heights!

-J
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[User Picture]From: stormbadger
2004-02-26 12:22 am (UTC)
hehe congrats on the bell ring. I seriously doubt I could do it for the acrophobia and .. a big pudgy man on a wall climb.. it's just WRONG:)
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[User Picture]From: musecalliopeia
2004-02-26 12:42 am (UTC)
Congratulations!

I, too, have acrophobia, and it extends even to a fear of climbing stairs - I'm always afraid I'm going to tumble down them - so I've avoided climbing walls, too. Of course, part of that may also be due to my rather expansive body, and fearing that the guy on the safety rope will not be able to do anything except *let go*, were I to fall, but...

Anyway, that's wonderful! I'm proud of you for standing up to your fear, and I'm excited that you were able to do so well!
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[User Picture]From: foofers
2004-02-26 01:24 am (UTC)
Cool beans!

I've also got that acrophobia thing, but admit there's something fascinating about those walls, and have considered giving it a shot. There's a smaller one at REI (right across the street from the Fremont City Beach), and they have free nights for members on...um...Tuesday, I think. Or if I'm feeling really ballsy, maybe drop dime for some instruction on the big walls at City Beach some time.

City Beach is just weird. I've only been for the food thus far...and the normal stuff, not the buffet, seemed pretty okay.

Congrats on getting to the bell! I'd probably go all chickenshit after about ten feet.
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[User Picture]From: nicodemusrat
2004-02-27 11:47 pm (UTC)
The food wasn't bad... Just average.

The exception was the desert brownies. They had some really rich chocolate treats for us.
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[User Picture]From: twopiearr
2004-02-26 01:27 am (UTC)
as one acrophobe to another, well done sir!
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[User Picture]From: seinnichts
2004-02-26 02:21 am (UTC)
Good Show!
You were lookin kinda shakey there near the end, but you did it! And a mighty fine job at that!

That bocce ball game however, that was just humilliating. You kicked our arses 12/0. Heh. I wasnt sure if you were pretty good, or if we were just horrible... either way, it was fun :)
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[User Picture]From: nicodemusrat
2004-02-27 11:52 pm (UTC)
Oh, I was feeling shaky, believe me! There were a couple grips near the top that were particularly... ungrippable. I was surprised at how small some of the physical purchases were.
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[User Picture]From: twigmouse
2004-02-26 06:12 am (UTC)

Sweet!

I used to work at a rock climbing wall, and got quite good at it myself. I could climb 32ft in just under 10 seconds at my peak. I could do the hardest route on the wall at one point in under 15 seconds. Anyway, the biggest thing to keep in mind when rock climbing, in addition to keeping your center of gravity close to the wall, is to lift with your legs, not with your arms. Your arms are best used in climbing to hold yourself to the wall, not lifting. Anyway, you should consider doing it more often. It's good exercise, and it may help with your acrophobia. Me? I used to climb power line towers for fun, and I'm getting into aviation. I'm not afraid of heights int he least ;-)
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[User Picture]From: nicodemusrat
2004-02-27 11:54 pm (UTC)

Re: Sweet!

Yeah, the guy at City Beach mentioned the use of leg power and I quickly found it to be essential. I ended up using my legs for vertical movement (lifting myself) and my arms for horizontal movement (clinging tight to the wall).
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[User Picture]From: shockwave77598
2004-02-26 03:11 pm (UTC)
Yay! Congratulations!
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[User Picture]From: brandywine93
2004-02-26 03:30 pm (UTC)
that's awesome!!!!! personally, I found the most fun part of climbing is rappelling down. granted you have to say "Weeeeeeee" to get the full feeling of it. :-)
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