So this is what living is all about

Today rocked. It was just… great. Woke up and went for a long run, went to my Maori Culture class. It’s going to be good. There are 254 of us enrolled, which is huge for me, but the teacher is young and energetic, and she’s funny. I’m going to be learning about Maori history, food practices, death customs, impact on the environment, and a bunch of other aspects of their culture. And I’ll be learning a bunch of Maori words, which is great because I love languages. It’s an hour-long class, but we got out early today, so I was home by 12:45. What to do, what to do?

I went to the supermarket. I needed bananas, carrots, tofu, and green things. But then I checked the meat aisle, and it turns out, I could buy filet mignon and lean minced beef for much less than I had thought. So I bought that too. Mmmm. And more yogurt packets, since it worked out pretty well the first time. On my way home, I got a text from Colin, a guy in my study group: “climbing in half an hour.”

OKAY!!

He’d bought this dingy little car for $450, and it needed a bit of work, but it got us to Long Beach, about 20 minutes away. Six of us went: Colin, Bryan, and Steve (who are all in my program) and Colin’s housemates, Megan and Melissa. The rock was fantastic, and there were lots of them. Full of features perfect for holding onto, and right next to the water. It was warm and sunny, and there were only a couple of other climbers scattered throughout the beach.

Colin sport led the first route and set up a top-rope anchor for the rest of us. We all took turns going up, and when we had all climbed, we pulled the rope, and I led my first sport climb. IT WAS F*ING SCARY. For those who don’t know much about climbing, I’ll give you a quick crash course: top-roping is the safest kind of climbing, what I usually do. It’s when you’re attached to an anchor at the top and tied in the whole time, so if you fall, you’re attached to a rope, and you won’t go anywhere. Sport climbing is the next step up. There are bolts in the rock that you clip into as you ascent. Until you clip into the bolt, you are at the mercy of the rock. If you fall, you fall twice the distance between you and the last bolt you’ve clipped into. So it’s good when there are a lot of bolts placed close to each other because if you fall, that minimizes the distance you drop. Luckily, I did not fall once. It’s a totally different game, though, when you’re leading, versus when you’re on top-rope. You’re much more aware of every move, aware that any little mistake you make could be dangerous, aware that if you take any risks, you may hurt yourself. But you have to take some risks, or else you won’t get anywhere. It’s all about finding the right balance. Which apparently I did, because I made it safely to the top. PHEW!

The beach is about 20 minutes from campus, so we’re planning on going out a couple of times per week. I’M SO EXCITED, I CAN BARELY CONTAIN MYSELF.

When I got back, I made myself a filet mignon and mixed vegetables (including green things) to celebrate my first lead. That was fantastic.

In a few minutes, my downstairs neighbors are coming up with a Mary Poppins DVD. Could this day get better?

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