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In the gym

Sara Lingafelter
Sara Lingafelter
2 min read

The weather crapped out, so my hopes of being outside today were thwarted. But, we headed into the climbing gym and actually had a good day despite being indoors. I’ve been climbing with a wide range of partners for the last few weeks, including some of the world’s most perfect belayers as well as new partners, and learning to trust my belayers and be less picky about the belay. I’ve also been trying to work a bit on my strength, and I’m already noticing a difference. I’m climbing hard (for me) and having a lot of fun…


I’m trying to lead as much as possible just in case, goodness forbid, the local climbing gym does ultimately close, in which case I’ll be able to keep my strength up with regular exercise and various friends home bouldering walls; but other than weekends outside I won’t get time to work on leading. On Friday, I did my hardest ever gym lead, and then went back on Sunday for more. I warmed up on lead and then enjoyed a few favorite lead climbs that I’d done before. Then, I got the idea to try a harder route that I did onsight on toprope — but at a grade that I’ve never lead before. I got really nervous right at the very beginning just because of the adrenaline, but worked my way up the climb as efficiently as possible. I didn’t worry about my belayer, I just focused on the climb. I breathed a lot, and enjoyed the climb all the way up to the last bolt. My fingers and hands were starting to tire, and I did ask my belayer to watch me, because I felt like I may come off making the last few moves up to the finish. The watch was unnecessary, and I didn’t come off — I upped my “hardest ever indoor lead level” twice in one week, and am very proud even trying. Mostly, I was proud of the feeling that I would rather take the risk with making the move than “cheat” or “take” or back off. I wasn’t actually afraid of falling, even when I thought there was a really good chance my hands were going to give out. I enjoyed the climbing, and my head was in the right place.

For someone who’s really struggled with lead climbing, that was one of the larger successes I’ve had in awhile.

Anyway, I’m just trying to get as much out of the gym as I can, and trying as hard as possible to get through this few weeks without getting outside (work, and a training I’m doing for work are interfering with my outdoor schedule). Bugger.

Sara Lingafelter

Sara (Grace) Lingafelter takes steps forward and backward toward a right-sized life on a daily basis.