Friday, February 22, 2013

Climbing Update and MAC

Hey, this past week was my second week of my rock climbing course for second semester. Monday's class was full of relearning belay techniques, practicing knots, and boldering. I feel like I'm starting to get better at boldering again, some parts are difficult because you can only go so far up the wall when bouldering but otherwise it's still pretty fun and good practice for working on holds and moving your hands and feet together.
For those of you who don't know, bouldering is a style of climbing that requires two people, a climber and spotter, where no ropes are used where the climber will climb up to about their spotter's shoulder height and then climb horizontally. When inside, this is usually done over a mat ("bouldering mat") in order to soften the fall. Most new climbers will start with bouldering in order to get the hang of holding onto rocks before climbing a wall. Now, don't get me wrong, bouldering isn't always easy! It can always be made more difficult and in some cases it's harder than actually climbing due to limited holds. Give it a shot! :D
Anyways, on Wednesday, I finally got recertified to belay, so I can climb with friends whenever now which makes me quite happy I'm not going to lie. I get a sort of feeling of freedom when I have this certification, I'm not exactly sure why, but it's still a super nice feeling. For the test, three people are required: a climber, a spotter (someone already certified), and the "belayer" (the person who wants to get certified). The spotter holds the end of the rope that is normally on the ground for a belayer in case they need to help hold the climber when they fall. The test here involves the "belayer" explaining everything to the climber (all the commands and such) and then tying the climber in and getting themselves attached to the belay device and the floor (if need be and the climber is heavier than they are, so they don't shoot up into the air), while climbing the climber does three falls and the "belayer" has to catch each one properly, then lower the climber back to the ground safely. The three falls include: an announced fall, an unannounced fall, and an unannounced fall where the "belayer" doesn't look at the climber but feels them fall. It sounds more complicated than it is, but it's really to make sure that the "belayer" knows what they are doing for safety's sake.  So, yea, that's that :P

Onto another subject, I joined a club this week! The Martial Arts Club (or MAC), which is a really relaxed club on campus run by students where we learn the basics of martial arts. Yesterday (Thursday) was the first time that I went and we did kicks and shoulder pushes. It was quite fun, I need to get used to kicking at the right height because I did over stretch my iliac muscle so that's one thing I need to work on. I do plan on going back next week, so that's something to look forward to :)

What other activities would you guys do in college? Happy Friday!
Sara :)

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