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Today's Rock Climbing Lessons: Straight Arms, One-armed Hangs

Rik on 5.12a

Yesterday I used up my five-pass to Planet Granite in San Francisco, which I am kind of sad about. It's been a really neat experience indoor rock climbing -- getting more skilled and comfortable with ascending those colorful and well-designed rock walls.

This time around, I worked on using my legs more than my arms, practicing straight arms, and improving my balance using just my legs and one arm. Being able to hang with just one arm I found makes a big difference, because it allows me to rest the other arm before going higher. And it became really clear to me that using straight arms rather than bent arms as much as possible makes a big difference in my overall endurance, despite still feeling somewhat counter-intuitive. My overall ability to judge whether I can maintain my balance on a particular section has gotten a lot better too.

A part of me wants to keep going and developing my basic skills. My hand grip is still really bad, I have yet to do much stemming, and can't really use my toes very well. But I feel like I've grown a lot in just a few visits, which feels really great.

I think I'll come back to rock climbing in the fall when I have more time for a new hobby. (Still need to get back to tap, too!) Planet Granite is a beautiful facility in a gorgeous part of the city. It's a wonderful way to start the day.

Planet granite in AM

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