It actually started on that Monday 2nd January when we all had a day off from New Year.
We were all supposed to go to Genting Sempah that morning, as Qadir promised he’ll get bikes from Nad the night before for the next morning cycling session. We discussed about it during New Year’s eve dinner two days before that and everybody was adamant to go. So I made Ewa come, even though she was reluctant at first, woke up way earlier than on any other normal working days, kissed the sleeping Daisy and left her on the bed and off we were to Qadir’s when Amer called us on the way.
“Weh, jangan keluar rumah lagi. Basikal takde.” His obvious just-woke-up voice echoed through our car speaker phone.
Typical Qadir. Most of the times his words were not as what they seemed. I was going to give him the lecture of his life (mostly about keeping punctual, be true to your words, stop troubling your friends and all that good behaviour/menace talk) when we learned that it was not his fault, that Nad had been unreachable since night before and being a cycling junkie, I guess he was still hoping Nad would’ve picked up the phone that morning. That’s why he didn’t inform us there were no bikes. So we were all there, all gathered at the self-proclaimed best mamak in Serdang, most importantly too wide awake it was almost not worth going back home to continue our sleep and have the rest of the day doing nothing. We were all talking about what to do when Qadir brilliantly suggested wall climbing.
Qadir brought his friend, Faizal who knows how to belay and have done it before so all the guys and Ewa climbed that day and I just sat and watched, because I didn’t feel like I could do it, plus I was shy people were going to stare at my ass. But Ewa and Fakhrul were talking about coming back so that Sunday the three of us went for a class (which they call clinic for some reason. Ewa and I have been joking that we have to go to clinic before we go to the hospital for falling off). We learned how to make the knots, safety issues, what’s this what’s that and most importantly how to belay a person climbing. The next thing I know I was making my way up the wall.
Seriously, I can’t believe I waited until I am almost 30 years old with a kid to do this. The excitement of putting your feet at the right place pushing your body up. There’s an intense joy or happiness when you find out your next hold can be grabbed and an intense fear when it’s otherwise. The sweat that keeps dripping from your face which you cannot wipe as if you are hanging to your dear life. The fear of falling once you’re on top and the complete trust you need for the person belaying you to come down from the point of an equivalent 3 to 4 stories high. How convenient for me that I can trust both my climbing partners; my husband and my best friend. And how alive it makes you feel once you have come down to the ground safely. The cramps on your arms and fingers that hurts afterwards it makes tasks like flushing toilet such a burden. These mixed emotions and physical pain are apparently instead of uncomfortable has become what it is to me – addictive.
Suddenly in less than 2 weeks, we did our forth climb yesterday. Ewa asked me before, how many climbing sessions do we have to do until we can decide to buy our own climbing shoes and I said five, at that time thinking achieving three will be in months time. All I look forward now is that phone call from her or Qadir (who are also hooked after his first climb he immediately purchased his own harness days after – pfft!) and I’m all up for it. Fakhrul has been going on about how his “dream” has turned into reality now that both of us have found something we enjoy and can do together, instead of dressing up, hitting the malls, buying things we don’t need and stuff our face with food.
There’s nothing I enjoy more currently than dressing down, getting sweaty, tied to my crotch and grabble my way up just to go down.
P/S : We also finally did get the bikes from Nad the weekend after and Fakhrul and Amer impressively cycled 14km way up to the top of Genting Sempah with me, Qadir and Daisy cheering them along the way in our cars.