The Wall

For those who is reading “A Song of Fire and Ice” series, “The Wall” has a special meaning. But today I just want to talk about a normal climbing wall.

Shortly after i joined my current company, i’ve heard a group of people were trying to get an indoor climbing wall put up on campus. I was ecstatic when i first heard. Imagine that! A wall right at our door step. i don’t even need to leave campus! I could pop in whenever i have half an hour to spare, try a route, sweat and feel all the stress melting away; then walk back to my desk and continue working. No gym membership fee, no driving. Ah, how grand that would be!

As the years went by, it kept on falling through. Each time there was a gym renovation, the mirage of “the wall” would appear. We the bright-eyed wall lovers would dream of “the wall” for a while. Then the gym would finish renovating, reopen, and no wall. 🙁

After a couple of incidents like this, i stopped dreaming.

But the small group of people who started it didn’t give up. Last May the dream came true! We got a wall installed in a lobby of a building that just finished renovation! What’s more, i found out one of the guys B, who led that small group of people, turned out to be a new director who came to our department not too long ago! B told me the group started pushing for a wall since 4-5 years ago. Persistence paid off!

But by then i was 2 months away from delivering Noah. And my department was scheduled to move to the opposite end of the campus from where the wall is located. Then i hurt my left wrist nursing during my maternity leave and it took months and months for it to heal.

Fast forward to this year. My wrists are good to go. I’ve left my department during a re-org. Now i work directly across the street from the wall. Yet i’ve been dragging my feet.

W is new to the company and joined our team a few months ago. He is a big outdoor person, and has been taking full advantage of the wall and loving it. He kept on inviting team member to go with him during one of his climbing sessions. Yesterday i finally said okay i would go and i would bring my shoes. He said there are harness and self-belay ropes, which means even for top-roping you don’t need a partner! There are also lots of bouldering routes.

So i made sure to have a few minutes this morning dashing to the basement to grab my climbing shoes and chalk bag, before leaving for work. In the afternoon, managed to drag myself away from all the meetings and walked across the street in the warm South Bay sunlight.

It, Was, Awesome.

The bouldering area is approximately only 1/3 of the size (length) of the bouldering “cave” in Santa Clara Planet Granite. But there are quite a few good routes. (Oh, climbers in the company set up the route themselves) I spent about half an hour trying out two routes, and worked out quite a sweat. I forgot how happy i get when i’m on a bouldering route. Pure Joy.

The best part was how convenient it all was. It takes less than 5 minutes for me to walk downstairs, cross the street and be on the wall. There is also a gym in my building, so i could use the locker room on my way back for a shower.

Remembering the days when i was working in Sunnyvale, I thought it was already very nice that i could drive over to PG during lunch time and have a bouldering session for an hour, then drove to a deli for food, and back to my desk 2 hours later.

I’m now in heaven. My arms are sore but my heart is dancing, hands sweaty.

Gonna try bouldering at least twice a week from now on. W was very eager to show me how the self-belay rope worked. It looked neat. But i found myself happiest on a bouldering route.

Oh, and B, the new director who started all these, who keeps his climbing shoes in his car, still hasn’t made it out to the wall, not even once. W said he will for sure drag him there one of these days…