Sometimes you do the research, you make a schedule, everything is planned out... but then nothing pans out the way you'd like. That doesn't mean the day is ruined!
Recently I went on a micro-adventure along with my friends Karla and Keith. We went rock climbing… sort of. My friend Karla has a fun series called Never Have I Ever, where she tries things she has never done before (like rock climbing) and films her process. We opted to go rock climbing because I too have never done rock climbing. Here began the research phase!
We were looking for an indoor rock climbing place in Los Angeles where we could do top-rope climbing as opposed to just bouldering. Top-rope climbing is when you have a rope tied on to assist with the climbing. Bouldering is climbing with nothing but your hands and feet, grabbing on to dear life. Since I have a minor issue with heights, I really wanted to find a place that had top-rope as an option. On top of only finding a few indoor rock climbing places in LA, we found even fewer that offered top-rope as an option.
We ended up going to CSUN because Karla, being an alum, was familiar with their Recreation Center which has the biggest gym I’ve ever seen in my life (I don't go to a lot of gyms often), track fields, pools, and a rock climbing wall. I made sure to contact them by email and let them know we were interested in top-rope climbing. I also wanted to verify some other details like the time they were open for top-rope climbing and if it was only $10 to do it (since that’s what their website says). I got a response within a few minutes letting me know the hours were 3:00 PM - 7:00 PM, that they had top-rope that weekend and that I was all good to go!
Saturday morning, the day of the big climb! I was so excited. I charged my cameras the night before for my video. I was ready to go!
We arrived at CSUN, and were told right away that we could not simply just pay $10 to get in to rock climb. We need a sponsor. A what?!? In order to use CSUN’s recreation center you have to be a member or have someone who is a member sign for you. Fortunately Karla is an alum and was able to get in. Keith and I asked strangers coming out of the facility if they would sponsor us. They took the bait! We got sponsored, paid our $10 entrance and signed a 5 page waiver.
Once we were inside, the same person who had been attending us the whole time said “Oh, we only do top-rope climbing from 12:00 PM to 4:00 PM.” It was 4:30. We stood there in silence taking in everything that just happened. I explained that I was in contact with them and was told the times were from 3:00 - 7:00. On top of that, when we were signing in I mentioned multiple times that we came here just to top-rope climb! Why did they not inform us of this important little detail while we spent 20 minutes trying to get in? The employee responded with “You can always call us to get in contact with us.” Wait, what?? The contact information on the website is an email address. I emailed you and I got a response with what I thought was correct information! Why would I call??
I let the steam escape from my ears as I tried to contain the boiling frustration within. Clearly there was a lot of miscommunication going on here between the workers at the center. To fix the situation, the employee gave us a full refund and let us enjoy the facilities for the rest of the day.
Just for fun we bouldered for a bit. I lasted a good 30 seconds hanging onto the wall and watching my whole life flash before my eyes at a whopping 3 feet off the ground. We got to check out the gym and we raced each other at the indoor track (Keith won. Multiple times.). We actually had the most fun you could ever imagine anybody having at a gym.
The truth is that sometimes things go as planned, but most of the time you can expect things to go a little differently. I woke up on Saturday thinking that I was going to conquer the rock wall. Instead I cowered in fear as I attempted to boulder. We didn’t let these unforeseen obstacles get in our way and ended up having a great time with great company. It’s all about the attitude and how you approach the things you do in life. For now I’ll have to keep rock climbing on the bucket list.