Wednesday, July 27, 2011

I Found An Anchor Over There, Now It's On My Derriere

Eli 9.11 likes to go to rock-climbing day camp in the summer. There's an excellent rock gym about 15 minutes away from where we live, and he climbs from 9-1.

He is, as you know, Spiderman.

There are multiple climbing walls in the gym, even a wall that simulates an overhanging rock wall. He's climbed just about everything, even the routes that should be impossible for someone his size to climb.

In the gym, they also have something called "campus boards." Campus boards remind me of the boards you nail on a tree to make steps, except with campus boards, the steps are for your hands. The boards are specifically used to train people for situations where they can't use their feet to help them climb.

Here's what they look like:

(thanks to Climb At Home).

The wall of campus boards at the rock gym has five boards, not six, but otherwise, it's very similar. The boards are 12" apart (vertically), and they're 1" thick. The entire structure is just hung on the wall.

If you're thinking there's no way to climb that, you're right. For a normal human, anyway, or even an average rock climber. But an excellent rock climber isn't human, and they can do it.

Eli's instructor told him that in six years of summer camps (they have a day camp every week during the summer, and kids up to 16 can sign up), he'd never seen a camper climb the wall.

Even though Eli still hasn't turned 10 yet, I know exactly what he heard when his instructor said that: blah blah blah blah it's on.

And so it was, indeed, on.

On Tuesday, he got to the second board. That doesn't sound like much, but very few people are strong enough to even hang on the board, let alone climb one.

On Wednesday, he got to the third board.

On Thursday, he got to the fourth board.

On Friday, I brought the Flip when I went to pick him up, just in case. Good thing:

I know, it doesn't look that difficult when he does it, but trust me, it's insanely hard. None of the other kids in the camp with him could even hang off the bottom board successfully. His instructors went wild when he got to the top, and so did everyone else.

After we left camp for the day, we went to the movies.

All week, I'd been telling Eli that we were going to see Winnie-the-Pooh. Now, I love Winnie-the-Pooh, and have for most of my life, but I thought it might be getting a little young for Eli, but he'd been talking about Captain America for weeks. So I found a Captain America showing that was within 5 minutes of the Pooh movie, and when we got to the ticket window, I said "Two for Captain America, please."

The look on his face was hilarious: the classic cartoon jaw-drop. "Are you KIDDING ME?" he said, laughing.

"We can still go to see Pooh," I said. "I just thought you might be more interested in another option."

So we walk into the lobby, and this ferocious, gentle boy that is now quite often big instead of little, said "Really, Dad, I think I'd rather go see Winnie-the-Pooh. Is that okay?"

"That would be great," I said. "I'd rather see Pooh, too."

So we did, and we were the only two people in the theater. It was like a huge, private theater, just for us.

There was too much singing, but otherwise, it was stellar. Eeyore had lost his tail, and everyone was bringing him things to try as a replacement, and at one point, he comes into a scene dragging an anchor behind him. Then, he sang (in Eeyore's wonderfully dour, depressed voice) what might be the greatest lyric in the history of cinema:
I found an achor over there,
Now it's on my derriere.

We roared.

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