Archive for August 13th, 2010


Falling Down

on August 13, 2010 in Misc 6 Comments »

A word to the wise…

If you’re doing something kind of unusual like, say, in the alley and climbing up onto your neighbor’s garage late at night, then you definitely don’t want to do something dumb.

alley b&w

Dumb can include….Well, leaving the keys to your place in one hand because in the back of your mind you’re thinking that it’s really so very easy to just step up on this box, then up onto this vertical narrow pipe (and why that pipe is jutting up out of the pavement I have no idea), then as your legs straighten into a one-foot standing position on that pipe you can grab the rain gutter above you and then…

I never got past this critical climbing point.

That’s because I fell.

falling cat

Suddenly and crazily I fell backwards and slammed down hard onto the alley pavement behind me.  Luckily my elbows and right thigh took the brunt of my fall.  Luckily too my biggest injury was a very painful blow to my ego.  How could I do something so incredibly STUPID?     WHY on earth did I think for one second that I could attempt even a simple dry-run on Bob’s high old garage wall with KEYS IN ONE HAND?

When I was in my bathroom washing my skinned elbows, I realized that I had in fact been distracted during my climb.  I don’t live in the suburbs, which are dead quiet at 11:15 on a weekday night.  I live in the city, and at all hours there are people out and about in my neighborhood.  Even late at night a few folks can be running, walking the dog, heading to the always-open grocery store a few blocks away.  There are also all kinds of windows that face that garage, and even though most were dark I still had the small fear that someone could be looking out one of them.  Hence I very foolishly let myself be distracted by the possibility of being seen by someone.

Layla would never make that mistake.

Like Layla, I should have stopped, taken some deep calming breaths, then focused with laser sharpness upon the job.  This means, first of all, EMPTYING MY HANDS!  In climbing every grip my hands make, every foothold my feet find, is of paramount importance.  I can never, ever, blow off even the simplest climb.  Being a rookie climber — and I’m really a rookie — is no excuse.

And so, next time I climb something (building, garage, tree, you name it), I will first stop and think, What would Layla do?

Unlike me, Layla would not screw up.