Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Gospel According to Patti

That's Patti a.k.a The Tenacious One over to the left -- lead climbing a route outdoors and what follows below is her gospel.

  • Do your hands ever get sore?, I asked in child-like wonder. My hands get so tender while climbing at times.

    Patti turned her hands over and discussed the merits of calluses that have fallen off. Yeah, they get sore but I just don't talk about them because my knees are sore, my back is sore and my elbows are sore. Your problem is that you're not sore enough....

  • If I start it, I'm going to climb it.

    Mike and I were trying to figure out the The Skull Cracking route which had a challenging beginning. It looked impossible to start so we called Patti over. Patti is like that Mikey kid in the Life commercials; she'll climb anything and, sure enough, she did. Once the belay was off, Patti said, That one's all about balance.

  • I was attempting to climb Girl Power, a challenging 5.9 route. I had attempted it several times before I concluded that maybe I wasn't tall enough.

    Patti: How tall are you?

    Me: 5'3

    Patti: I think you're taller.

    Me: (Crumpled brow)

    Patti: I certainly think I'm taller...

  • The move needs to be deliberate and controlled, more advice from Patti as I tried to ascend Girl Power, a 5.9 route.

  • What happened to muscle memory? Me after trying to get over the arête of Girl Power

    Patti: You gave it new memory.

  • You know that part that you always get stuck on? Step on that rock instead, do a drop knee and it'll just shove you up to the top...

    Patti's advice after I climbed Pacman Revival, a 5.9 route whose crux continued to baffle me.

  • After not being able to get over the arête of a route...

  • Me: Are you going to show me how to do it?

    Patti: Well, I'm going to either show you how to do it or how not to do it.

  • The ladies at work told me that I'm a hypochondriac.

    I told them that I'm a conversationalist and I talk about what ails me.

  • Patti: That's like a dangling modifier.

    Me: Wow, I haven't heard that in awhile. Anybody see that comma splice? This conversation has really taken a turn for the worst.

    Mike: No, it hasn't; we haven't talked about colons yet.

  • Patti: You're doing excellent. It took me a year to climb 5.9's and, if I weren't climbing better than you right now, I'd be disappointed since I've been climbing for three years.

  • If I don't say it enough, it's because I don't say stuff like that. Remind me in nine months and I'll tell you again.

  • Remember, I'm the cool one -- after Patti gave me advice on how to tackle a burly 5.9*

  • I always tell my kids it's all about the attitude.

    Patti to me after a series of pep talks about climbing goals, not going against the grain of routes, having fun and not being hard on myself after I mentioned that I had hit the proverbial wall when it came to climbing.

  • Don't be a purist.

  • Patti to me after I struggled with Now That's More Like It, a 5.9 route; I insisted on going left even though I had lots of footholds on the right side. In addition, I didn't want to cheat my way up by using holds that didn't belong to the route.

  • Patti: I'm going to climb this (Now That's More Like It) even though it's hard.

  • Me: :o, That's mean.

    Patti: (Chuckling) Are you still surprised about that now?

    *Patti acknowledged her coolness after I told her what Gingersnapper wrote...


    1. Awww, I love it!! I would love to be there to hear these conversations!

    2. i have to agree with Angela...you do partake in some of the most interesting conversations!
      so, are you 5'3" or not?!! ;)

    3. @Angela,

      Thanks. I would love to be standing in a rock climbing gym with you one day -- yakking and such... :)


      To answer your question, I actually do feel taller than 5'3 most days. ;)