Monday, February 11, 2013

Up a Wall

Today Wynn's school was closed on account of Chinese New Year, so the family of one of her classmates, Dylan, chose today for his 7th birthday party.  

Dylan likes rock climbing. A LOT. Such that he's a regular at the "pinnacle" of the Bloomington, MN REI store.  And he's pretty darned good at it, from what we saw. 

The tall glass atrium on the right side of the building houses the rock walls...

That teeny little person checking out the bases of the rock walls is Wynn. The one on the left is 55 feet tall; the one on the right about 40.

This is a rock-climbing birthday party!  Mandatory safety briefing!

A little dubious...  at least she was paying attention :)

Dylan does a demonstration.  The crowd goes silent in rapt attention...  Wynn starts to get the idea she might like to do this.  The kids swarm the gear station & all want to get suited up to climb...

Special harness, special shoes.  Love how she's focused while the kids are racing around her.

Tightening & knotting, learning the signals with the belayer

And up she goes.  "I was kind of scared," she said.  "Why did you keep climbing?" I asked. "Because I really wanted to know I could do it."

That's her about 3/4 of the way up...  way beyond what I was guessing she would have done.  (Double click the photo to enlarge)
At this point all the other kids had stopped whatever they were doing and were chanting "GO WYNN! GO WYNN!"  The parents were all beaming.  I was scrambling to text-message Ann what was going on while taking pictures...
And with one last push over that scary negative space by her knees, she stood up and rang the bell.

"Coming down was the hardest part," she said.

Someone surprised herself today & learned a valuable lesson about how to handle her fear!

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