We set off for the Community Climbing event with only a small group of people, made up of 3 adults and 1 teenager plus Mal who ably instructed and encouraged us.
The rock didn't look too daunting as it wasn't that high - the guide book did say however that the place took after its name and could be quite unforgiving with the elements, so when we were there and it was relatively still and we were in a recess, I felt most blessed and almost cocooned.
Before I continue I should just say that I have previously done more abseiling than climbing, mostly in my younger days and more on static towers than hard rock. Our son however, the teenager is lithe and athletic and has always shown an interest in climbing, hence our main reason for joining on the event.
My husband who was happy to keep both feet on the ground willingly took up the belay position with our son climbing one of the first ropes put up. He made it look extremely easy - watching on I thought 'what it is to be young', admiring his speed and confidence. Then came my turn; wearing trainers making it harder I think, I had my feet placed at an angle and I cautiously tried to reach up to grab a hand hold which was just out of reach and failed several times over. Not one for giving up, I had a rest and then tried again and failed. I don't remember this feeling from years ago, I would have made the stretch, had the strength in my fingers and arm to hold on but following invasive surgery to my left side, that stretch and strength are no longer there, the head and heart were willing but the body, not so.
Our son continued climbing on the other 2 routes put up and our other adult climbing partner, through perseverance and a bit of encouragement, made it up all 3, I however only conquered 1. This for me was a great achievement after life's storms of the last 5 years and I came away feeling: tired and happy but challenged, and a sense that I need to be aware of physical limitations but so thankful for the opportunity to spend time with family doing something fun.