Tuesday 12 December 2023

Code Name

 I've been climbing for about 18 months. I'm doing what's called bouldering (or low altitude indoor free solo) where you climb artificial walls at a gym with a thickly padded floor. You never get particularly high so there are no harnesses or ropes involved. I'm not particularly good at it, but I'm much better and stronger than when I started.

One of the moves is called a "mantle". It's where you grab something at (say) chest height and you start off by pulling down on it but end up pushing down on it at waist height. Like part of a muscle-up except you're allowed to use your feet too.

A couple of Saturdays ago I made friends with a Brummie who liked my solution to one of the climbs and said I made it look easy. I thanked him but pointed out that I couldn't do the mantle without making a silly little noise. It was completely involuntary and it was more than the sound of an old man getting up out of a sofa, but much less than the sound of a professional tennis player serving.

My new friend then climbed the same problem using my beta (set of moves) and made the same little noise during the mantle.

We then watched another climber do the same problem, but he didn't have to make the same noise so we agreed that he must be stronger than us.

I told this story to the guy I usually climb with. He used to be a professional athlete, and he's enormously fit and strong. He didn't need to make the noise, so he's now got a very cool gang name. "Silent Mantle".

Richard "quite fireplace" B

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