Saturday, May 25, 2013

Finally- Outside!

After days of rain, northern MN finally had a day of nice weather in the forecast!  I was getting pretty cabin-fevery (absolutely a word) after days inside recovering, and wanted to get outside to do something.  Luckily, my buddy Mat felt the same way, and on Thursday morning we cruised up to Palisade Head along the North Shore of Lake Superior bright and early for our first outdoor climbing day of the year!

Mat's probably one of my favorite people to climb with- laid-back, constantly smiling and laughing, nonchalant, and encouraging no matter what level you're climbing at.  He climbs really hard when he wants to, but on this particular day, we were both just looking for a day outside to stretch our muscles in the sun.
We hit up pretty much every decent 5.9 and 5.10 at Palisade, since I was still testing my limits and Mat was "out of shape" for climbing (which means he hasn't climbed 5.12-5.13 in awhile...).
It was a beautiful day- sunshine, no fog, only a slightly chilly breeze coming off the lake, making for fantastic climbing temperatures.  We both still wore our down puffy jackets for belaying, though- typical Northern Minnesota belay in May. ;)

It was also really nice to climb with Mat because he knows his stuff.  I like taking new people outside to climb, but usually that means I'm setting up all the anchors, doing all the tear down, and usually trying to teach how to do these things at the same time.  With Mat, one of us would tear down the anchor while the other person set the next one up, letting us get in climbs back-to-back.  He is definitely a little more "MacGyver" with some of his belay setups, and we had a good laugh about setting up a few of them.

(Generally, three cams right next to each other in a crack is not the "best" practice... oh, Mat...)
By the time we started to slow down and get sore in the late afternoon, the wind was really picking up and it was time to get back to Duluth so I could teach dance.
I was definitely dead by the time I got home Thursday night after my very full day, but it felt amazing to really push my body for the first in a long time.  I actually felt like I deserved snuggling up with Scott on the couch to watch some Game of Thrones.  The best part about pushing my limits is knowing that I can only improve, and finally get back in to shape- for climbing, running, dancing, hot yoga-ing, and bike commuting.  It will take awhile, but the first step always feels the best!

(Happy after my 6th climb of the day, and finally getting sore!)
I'm off this weekend to grab my parents from the airport down in Minneapolis.  After a winter down in Florida, they're coming back to Minnesota for the summer, and I couldn't be more excited!  Memorial Day with the folks, then back to Duluth for training at my college next week in how to teach a good online class.  Hopefully a fair amount of knitting time this relaxing weekend, and next week I want to be done with the back of the Dude Sweater... it's so close...

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