Sunday, February 26, 2006


One of the greatest things for me is to inspire people. It works very seldom but when it happens you can note the day in the column for good days.
Let’s say you invite two schoolgirls and their parents to an Indoor Climbing Hall. All of them have had nothing to do with climbing so far. You sit down with them at the foot of the wall and the Bearded Man and you show them the most important knots. The girls and the mother look slightly interested so far and the father looks bored. You know that the father doesn’t feel like spending money for such things.
The girls climb the beginners wall without problems, you shake their hands and you can see a little glow in their eyes. You lead them away from the newbie-wall to the high routes. They look at you with disbelieve.
“I’m supposed to go UP THERE?”
“Yes, little lady, if you want you can try. It’s high but it’s easy.”
And she dares. And she reaches the top. And she comes down and you shake her hand again.
“Look up there. You’ve been UP THERE. On your own.”
The other, smaller girl does the same. The glow in their eyes is now obvious.
The mother looks a little bit frighened when it’s her turn but you know that she is curious. She speeds up the wall like a spider.
More eye-glowing.
And what about the father? He stood in the back row until now. You give him your lap belt, for some reason he puts it on, you tie him to the rope and he climbs. A few moments later he is 10 metres above you but you can see the smile in his face. When back on the floor he wanders around and checks the degrees of difficulty of the other routes looking for the next appropriate one.
Finally you spend the whole afternoon climbing and chatting. The routes get more difficult each time. The girls seem to have forgotten that they usually are very fearful.

All of them say that they can feel their underarms.
One of the girls wants climbing gear as a birthday present
The father asks about outdoor climbing in the summer
Mother smiles while walking back to the car
I have the feeling that the Bearded Man and I managed to create verve. Very good day.

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