‘You have to try the tree jump. It’s awesome.’
That’s when I saw that worrying grin spread across Starkey’s face.
‘Seriously, you’ll enjoy it’
The grin got wider. It’s the kind of grin that warns you that whatever he’s suggesting is slightly mad, somewhat terrifying, possibly painful and probably survivable.
I usually see that grin at the bottom of dirty looking off-width climbs that stretch forever upwards into the sky.
The grin is usually accompanied by a metallic tinkling sound. It starts quietly. He nods encouragingly, then his whole body joins in. The climbing gear on his harness jumps up and down and clangs and crashes.
So, this weekend, when he said ‘you have to try the tree jump’, I accepted my fate.
Then this happened:
As I balanced precariously on the top of that unstable, crumbling excuse for a tree, I hated that stupid grin and its stupid suggestions. I told him exactly were he and his grin could go.
But when I found myself with my hands still on the hold, legs swinging wildly underneath me, I was stoked and grateful for the encouragement.
After I finished the climb, Starkey lowered me back to the ground. I delivered solid hi-5 and apologised for spraying insults at him just before making the jump. Then I grinned my own stupid grin. And the gear on my harness jingled around as I skipped away.
These last few climbing weekends, its been the people hurling encouragement that have made the days crazier and more fun. Thanks to all you folk in the photos below. And all the other people in my life who have terrible ideas and lots of energy!