I might be a hopeless romantic, but I don’t do sappy well. And this is a sappy time of year. Tears regularly flow at the Olympics. Valentine’s Day brings extravagant displays of love. Vertical Endeavors Climbing Gym holds its annual One Hour membership sale.
You might be surprised at how romantic rock climbing can be.
A scene from a movie I recently watched keeps going through my head. One CIA field agent asks his CIA partner, “I trust you. I know that you would take a bullet for me. I would for you, as well. Can you imagine what it would be like to share this with a woman?”
As a participant in adventure sports, I have that level of trust, faith, and commitment with my husband.
Take rock climbing, for example.
While you are rock climbing, your life is literally in your belayer’s hands. If you fall when you are five stories up, the only thing keeping you safe is the rope in your belayer’s hands. If you don’t trust your belayer with your life, you shouldn’t get on the wall.
Additionally, your belayer is often your biggest supporter at the gym. They are the one that holds your entire weight while you rest mid-route. They are the one that encourages you to get to the top of the wall.
They are the one that says, “You have this. Why don’t you give it one more try?” They are the one that tells you, “Good job,” even when you don’t make it to the top, when they softly lower you to the ground.
I can’t think of a better way to show your love for a partner.
This February marks my 10th anniversary as a member of Vertical Endeavors Climbing Gym. My now husband has been my climbing partner from day one. You see, one of our first dates was at the climbing gym. Since that time, we’ve climbed together almost every week.
We’ve been climbing partners for 10 years, spouses and life partners for 8.5.
That is why I group the climbing gym’s Membership Sale in with the emotional events of the Olympics and Valentine’s Day.
Vertical Endeavors appears to understand this. One Valentine’s Day, my husband and I just happened to be at the climbing gym with a friend. Did I mention I’m not very sappy? This shows it. The PA system, which normally plays a wide variety of music, played only love songs that evening. They even took requests.
Romance filled the climbing gym.
After climbing, we went out for drinks with our friend, as we often do. At the reasonably nice restaurant, the hostess gave us an odd look when we requested seating for three. It was Valentine’s Day, after all. Couples and double dates crowded the dining room.
But there was no romance at the restaurant.
The busy conditions produced poor service. Simple tasks such as ordering, getting our food, receiving the tab, and paying the bill took extended periods. We even had to physically flag down our server. To make matters worse, halfway through the evening, a game of bingo began. Bingo killed any romance the dim, candlelit establishment had managed to create. We tried to leave as quickly as possible.
That Valentine’s Day evening, the climbing gym provided the romance. Not the restaurant.
Where have you unexpectedly found romance? Share in the comments below.
P.S. Dave, I love you! Thank you for living a life less ordinary, a life extraordinary with me these past ten years. I’d gladly be your CIA field partner and take a bullet for you. Happy Valentine’s Day, my Love.
P.P.S. I admit that I’m sappy enough to listen to our wedding mix CD as I write this.