New-Found Skill: Wall Climbing

(Update, 1/12/14. Photos from the event were added.)

After that shitty visit to the Primer Annual Bodega Sale, where we didn't even find useful The North Face packs or shoes for our upcoming expedition, my co-worker and I went straight to Market! Market! to meet our co-BMCnoys and the SMCnoys for the wall climbing event headed by our PHYS-T committee head Allan.

We got there an hour early so we had lunch first and took a stroll, checking for possible mountaineering packs and shoes on sale. Lucky for me that James, my co-worker, went inside the Chris Sports store and saw a cool Deuter hiking bag (Deuter Futura Pro 42), which I was somehow less interested knowing that the price is too expensive even for a credit card payment. Anyway, the staff at the store showed us the bag and I fell in love in the instant I saw the AirComfort Pro feature of this bag, plus the bag is available for 6 months installment at 0% interest. There was no turning back, so I bought the bag. Plus, it's in blue - my favorite color.

Anyway, I left the bag at the store to claim it after our wall climb. James and I went to the 5th floor of Market! Market! at Camp Sandugo, where most of the BMCnoys and SMCnoys are already preparing for the event.

I was like, "F*CK! nakakatakot pala ito!". The wall climbing instructors gave us an orientation on the protocols of wall climbing or basically the communication between the climber and the belayer (the one holding the rope) to ensure safety in climbing and descending. "So who wants to try belaying?", somebody asked. I said, "I do.". So there, the life of Budz (my co-BMCnoy) depended on my hands that very moment, but it was fun as I belay for him. It was scary too as it was not to be taken lightly by anyone at all. Thankfully, Budz descended in one piece.

Then moments later, it was my turn to climb the wall. I thought of pushing myself harder by climbing the wall with medium level of difficulty and besides it was being completely ignored by my colleagues. It seemed that no one wanted to try it. I asked Budz to belay for me.

As I reach near the top, I began hearing people cheering for me and camera lights were flashing capturing my moments. They just didn't know how scared I was as I try to look for stones to comfortably and securely hold onto, but I try not to let it show on my face. My legs were shaking too. But I thought of only one goal --- GET ON TOP, which kept me going and going even though my arms are getting tired and the stones become farther to reach for gripping and for stepping. But you know what? I made it! Whew! Now letting go of the rope is the hardest part, but I have to trust my belayer. Thankfully, I still live to tell the tale.

I tried another round of wall climbing, this time it was a challenge by the PHYS-T committee head. He asked me to climb the hard one, which only 2 people have conquered at that moment, including him. And I was like, "Challenge Accepted!" (with the Barney Stinson game face), but I was actually scared again. Haha! This time, it felt like all eyes were on me. Gladly, no one ever shouted something like, "You show off!".

Anyway, I was able to get on top again, though it was more difficult than my first climb. When I descended, my hands and legs were shaking yet stiff-like. My co-BMCnoys and SMCnoys were cheering for me. Some of them couldn't believe how I got myself onto the top, but I told them I couldn't believe myself either. Ms. Joyce, the SMC head, even told me, "Niloloko mo lang ako eh. Sabi mo first time mo pa lang ito. Eh mukhang nag-wa-wall climbing ka na dati ah!".

The experience was like a dose of happiness - getting through the medium and hard wall climbing courses and at the same time discovering a new skill. The training at the gym paid off! Getting praised by my colleagues is a thing too, but I am so much delighted to have new friends to share this fun experience with.

Photo credits to Daisy Tan.