Random Happenings

Random notes and pics about events in the life of a not-your-typical Computer Science grad student. (Yes I am a nerd, but I don't live and breathe the SciFi channel, well maybe Stargate SG-1...)

Monday, December 03, 2007

Don't look down

Famous last words: "Whatever you do, just don't look down." I found out the other weekend just how relevant that little sentence can be when you are clinging to tiny rocks sticking out of a wall three stories high. I never pegged myself as someone that has any problem with heights, but even I began to question my sanity while I was suspended precariously near the top of the wall. Actually, I was doing just fine until about two-thirds of the way up when I paused to look around...

It all began a few weeks ago when I thought it would be a) fun to try something new and b) come up with an activity for AWICS. (AWICS stands for Aggie Women in Computer Science, a student organization in our department.) AWICS hadn't had many bonding activities this semester, and I thought rock climbing could be just the ticket. People bond really fast when you put them in an unfamiliar situation requiring trust.

Our student Rec center is a really nice facility with a huge rock climbing wall and excellent staff. They happily arranged a group session for us. I was sure to remind them that no one in our group had been rock climbing before. They reassured me that they would teach us all we needed to know.

I was really impressed when 9 other AWICS'ers decided to join me one Saturday night at the wall. After a very brief orientation we started climbing. It was actually much easier at first than I thought it would be. I shouldn't fail to mention, though, that the staff member belaying me may have given me a little boost here and there. As I said in the beginning, I was doing just great until about two-thirds of the way up when I paused and looked around. I really wasn't sight-seeing, just looking for the next place to put my hands and feet, but I caught a glimpse of the vast amount of air between me and the ground and started to get a little nervous. I then think I started climbing faster so I could get to the top and come down!

At the tippy-top...

... coming down...

... and finally at the ground!

Actually, after a few more times, I got to really enjoy it. It is hard work, however, and I was really sore the next day. It was worth it. I made some new friends, laughed with some old ones, and came out victorious at the end.

Here are the brave AWICS members that conquered the mighty rock wall:


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