Two days ago, on Friday night, Alex oniugnip returned from his week-long trip to Israel. We usually talk on the phone daily when we're apart, but I couldn't call him on the other side of the world; we tried video chat a couple of times, but it only sort of worked, and the seven-hour time difference was awkward. The cats and I are noticeably more cheerful now that he's safely back at home.
"Safe" is a matter of perception, though, considering that nearly the first thing we did on Alex's first full day back yesterday was go climbing. It was my fourth time at the climbing gym, and I had a good day: I got my first 5.7 route, nearly got another 5.7, and I even made it part of the way up a 5.8. Climbing is fascinating. I think I'm getting addicted. Sometimes, it feels like a damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don't proposition: you're clinging to a wall in an awkward position, trying to move upward; if you fail, you fall, and if you succeed, you're...clinging to a wall in another awkward position, a bit higher up. Sometimes, it's hard to convince myself to keep going up if the holds up above look no more promising than the ones I'm already on; sometimes, the next handhold looks really, really far away, and I have to take it on faith that I'll be able to reach it if I can just step up to the next foothold and straighten my leg. I dislike taking things on faith, but somehow, in climbing, most of the time, it works. I'm more confident now than I am when I started, which manifests itself as making bigger movements on the wall.
Of course, it would help matters if I were stronger. Our arms were pretty wrecked when we woke up this morning. "Try to make fists and squeeze them as tightly as you can," Alex said to me as we were lying in bed. We did, and promptly both went "Owwwwwww." Not wanting my legs to feel left out of the suffering, I went on this week's long run today. I'm sore all over now, but I feel strangely wonderful. I'm doing a better job preparing for this race than I did for the last marathon, or the one before that. I don't have any excuses not to kick ass, this time.