Step 4: Insert foot in mouth

One more. Consider it an addendum to the last post. I knew I forgot something.

You are probably familiar with my general unobservant-ness.  Well, with that introduction in mind…

Once upon a time, a very friendly middle-aged man began climbing at the same gym as Rachel.  They would say hello, and support each other’s exploits on the beginner’s climbing wall.

On one cold December evening, the man struggled to complete a certain problem.  Rachel, feeling helpful–and a little prideful at knowing the technique–showed him how you should grasp the first hold with the last three fingers on your right hand, allowing you to swing easier and stretch with your left to the next hold.

The man smiled, said, “Not me,” and continued trying the problem with all four fingers.

Rachel again demonstrated the three-fingers-technique, and the man again shook his head.

Not one to push, she let it go and focused on showing the rest of the sequence.  The man eventually finished the problem to the delight of all.

Last night, Rachel was reminded of this story when she watched the man climb the wall again.

This time, she was sitting off to his right, and could clearly see his right hand.

And saw that he was missing his entire pinkie and half his ring finger.

Aside from my embarrassment, I have a great deal of respect for this man now.  Not only is he beginning this tough sport late in life, but he’s doing so with missing fingers.  Go him!  I’m not sure I’d have the guts, if I were in the same position.  Especially if there were young big shots trying to show me everything they could do with all five fingers intact.

One response

  1. Pingback: It starts at #2 ’cause you already read #1 « rachelshae

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