Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Sonnie on the Rise

Sonnie was a good hard-working man the last time we rock climbed. He was kinda bummed about hearing what a good time we had. So I helped set up another climb for him and his friends before he left for basic. He did the major organizing though and I am so proud of how he’s grown when I watch him do such things! : )

I picked up Genesis, Sonnie and Aleeza, then we met Adam at church. Genesis jumped in the car with Adam to pick up Matt T., but more so in order that Adam didn’t get lost! We picked up Jefferson, Bert and Krystle picked up Kristie, and Shelly came. Kristie couldn’t climb ‘cause her arm injury is still tender.

It was so much fun!

Bert and Krystle got there first and went straight to business! They had gone last time; this time they tried out the climbing shoes that can be rented at the gym.

All the rain from the previous days made the ropes kinda tricky; Bert and Genesis rope climbed safely though.

The guys discovered the pull-up station: a stiff rubberband looped through an anchored eye hook. It’s to practice pull-ups using only one arm or two fingers! Of course the guys had to try it! I kinda got Matt doing a pull-up on video. I can't even attempt it [YET]!

All our climbers got up the free climb at least once. The guys were all over again. For their first time, Aleeza and Shelly were a bit hesitant to climb back down but they made it.

I had stayed up top to advise and assure Shelly down while those on the ground guided her. Their instruction got a bit confusing, as all these voices called things out and then some of it is stuff like, “there’s a grip right there” or “move your foot to the right,” you know, where it’s non-specific and stuff that she can’t see where they’re pointing because they’re behind and below her; she’s staring at the wall [I’m laughing ‘cause I’d probably do the same]. Then Justin, the climbing guy, came over to give Shelly useful, clear guidance down and she was okay.

Meanwhile, Adam had come up the other side. He goes back down after Shelly is safe. Now I’m left alone at the top and ready to come down. So I get to the edge, glance back down… and no one’s there to guide me! Well, I’m kinda gutsy [read: dumb and think I can do anything] and I climbed down on my own anyway, and I was safe. It’s just funny to me, in that split second going, “where’d everyone go?” and then “alright, I’m still going down anyway.” I’m kinda protective when others do stuff like that that could be safer and then for myself, I just go; I’m starting to get better at not doing stupid stuff myself anymore but that’s not saying much.

SONNIE was amazing! He kept climbing up and down and sideways and hanging, climb after climb with hardly a breather between! He climbed his money’s worth!

He challenged himself when Genesis crossed over an opening, using mostly his upperbody strength. After that, a couple said, “Genesis, you’re my hero!” So Sonnie said, “What?!!” He got up there, crossed over, and then was challenged to go all the way around so he tried it [it’s in the video if you’ve seen it].

I have some stamina to build up. I love climbing, more than I do hiking, but I need to lean out more and get some strength in. Last time, I had been free climbing so much and trying the laterals that I was too tired by the time I got to the ropes- that and the fact that my toe had swelled and hurt like crazy. Again, “gutsy” me goes climbing with a bad toe anyway and then can’t push herself up on that foot at all!

This time, my toe was pretty okay, only slightly tender. I challenged myself on the wall that’s tilted outward. The grips had changed from the other time and were in better positions for me to climb. Yet again, I got to a point where I really needed to push up, my arms were too tired to help pull me up and my toe was starting to hurt. And I was almost to the top. Bert was up top, trying to help me out. He thought he would be encouraging and called out, “Come on, Coach!” I was wearing Dad’s old coaching shirt. I called back, “It’s for soccer, not rock climbing!” Bert: “Oh.”

And… we had our first casualty. It was shortly after my near-top climb and I was tired on the ground. We watched as Bert slipped; it was so fast that I don’t remember if it was his foot or his hand that went. All of a sudden, all of him just dropped! At first I was afraid that he knocked out his knee and then was a little “relieved” [if that’s the word] that it wasn’t his knee. It just wasn’t fun to watch.

Matt and others rushed over to check Bert out. Justin came over with an ice pack and they took care of him.

Then Scott arrived like minutes after Bert’s fall.

Krystle took Bert to the hospital. I wanted to go with them but they had their [friend’s] car and I had to stay with my [mom’s] car.

And to think that Bert was very mindful of the safety of the rest of us, pointing out that chains/ necklaces be tucked in and that we should move the mat for others.

The rest of us went to have lunch at Costco’s while keeping in touch with Bert and Krystle. Then we went to Waikele. After they were done, Bert and Krystle met us at Waikele. Bert arrived with crutches and an ankle the size of a grapefruit! The word is that nothing is broken and it’s a bad sprain.

Other than the fall, it was a good time. We’re not deterred from doing more climbs! [And maybe we’ll be more mindful of using chalk more often when needed]. Sonnie’s thinking about getting the year pass when he gets back. Genesis is up for that! Me too! It’s a great fun workout!

Mahalo to all who came out! Let’s go again, you in?



So, when I was setting up the first climb, I was told that group functions were 10- 25 people. 2 people weren’t able to make it last minute, leaving 9 of us. Henry had been there before and he offered to pay for the tenth person but Justin said it was cool. This time for Sonnie, Shelly said that she hadn’t paid; she had been only 20 minutes behind us in arriving. After Bert and Krystle got on their way to the ER, Shelly and I went back inside to settle and Justin said we were good.

Justin had asked that someone update him on Bert; I called the next day to let him know nothing was broken. He was relieved and reminded that they tell everyone, even though there’s mats and stuff for falls, we still need to be as safe-minded as possible when we climb.

So a huge MAHALO to Justin and Volcanic Rock Gym for all of their services and making sure we were as safe as can be, and for being ready to take care of injuries.


And Sonnie left for basic this past Monday. I miss him; many of us do. He’ll sure be in my prayers while he’s away.

Sonnie, be safe and take care of business so you can come back!!!