I was born on the cusp of the Chinese/Vietnamese zodiac calendar’s monkey & rooster chicken changeover during Tet (aka lunar new year) a while back.
In my family, we tend to think that we exhibit some of our animal’s traits. For me, I think the monkey bits have translated into a love of climbing trees and rocks.
I’m not sure when I first tried rockclimbing in Vancouver but I definitely took a HUGE liking to it and for years, have “tortured” / entertained my friends on my bday with a rockclimbing party…now I’m going to admit it, those events were more for me to watch them squeal in the air rather than to climb…lol cruel ol’ Cathy 😛 But usually some of them got the hang of it too.
YEAH said Sing and Adam in 2012. OH MY LORDY said Benita 😛
Sooo the climbing gym then led to trees. I thought I was so cool and able that I once challenged my dad to a tree climbing contest in Hanoi, around West Lake.
ME: Hey dad, let’s see who can climb this tree the fastest. (I’m so cool and cocky b/c I had on sports clothes and Columbia sandals.)
DAD: OK sure, you go first. (He was in his 50s at this time.)
ME: Ouch this is hard! And I can’t get up that high. (IN mind: I’m totally sweating and this isn’t as easy without a harness….)
DAD: Do you need a lift?
ME: Nooooo but I don’t think I can get any higher…(AND this took me like 20 minutes…) Your turn!
I jump down and am soaked in humid sweat..gross!
Meanwhile, Papa has jumped up and is smiling higher than I was in about the time it took me to turn my head around and look at him!!!!!!
ME: What the heck? How did you do that?????
DAD: Oh, didn’t I tell you? I had to climb coconut trees when I was younger (30 years ago) for your mother so this is like so easy peasy!
MOM: shakes and laughs in the background.
BIG BURN CATHY! But it makes for a good story!
FLASHBACK #2 GENEVA
I have a favourite low-hanging tree to climb in Geneva. It is perfect as it had several branches and stubs for your feet and it really isn’t so high so falling wouldn’t hurt too much anyway. UNFORTUNATELY, it is also perfect for tying a tightrope so the trapeze leisure club is often hogging my space and spending all of Saturday doing their thang which means that I can’t always climb it. It is in the park with a decent view of Lake Leman and when I’m up there, I feel on top of the world…well, my weeny GVA world 😛 And I feel strong and my stresses and fears just melt away…..
WHAT MAKES A TREE GOOD TO CLIMB?
2. has several bumps and good texture on the trunk
3. look for several branches spreading out in rising V formations so that you can climb higher and higher
4. preferably in secluded not-busy area or otherwise the locals will think you are a WEIRDO (at least this is the case in GVA)
FLASHBACK #3 the NIGHT of SMALL CRIMINALITIES
Oh we were pissed! The rules, rules, rules lifestyle was getting to us and the rules were NOT making any sense. Sometimes people just like to impose rules to well, have rules and they are DUMB. (OK so I’m a wee bit of a rebel rulebreaker here.)
So we drank and he smoked. But this was NOT enough. He concocted mini evil plans of revenge and hypothosized about how we could wreak havoc on the system of rules. It was fun but as it was not reality, it still wasn’t enough.
ME: We must let out some stream. I’ve got it! Let’s go climb a tree!!!!
O: WTF, Cathy are you outta ur mind.
ME: Trust me O, this is what we need. Annnnd it’s dark out so no one will be giving us the evil glare by the lake….
O: I’m listening….
So off we jaunted to the lake where I had to scope out the perfect tree. My fave does not suit two climbers and it was a bit far away anyway. BUT I SOON FOUND ONE.
ME: O, this is the one! Let’s do it!
O: (Looking up) uhhhhhhh…
Me: I’ll go first. Perhaps you do not climb trees where you come from?
O: Not exactly. We are well dressed, civilized people!
ME: (Looking down at my footwear) Good thing I am not wearing my standard work dresses today. These shoes can hack it. ODE TO good GEOX SNEAKERS!!!
UP, UP, and AWWWWWWWAAAAAAAYYYYY!
O was a natural. And soon there we were, two buddies, partners in virtual crime plotting, chilling in the dark sky, partially hidden by the trees AND bien sur, it felt GREAT!
O: It’s kinda nice up here. I like climbing trees with you. It’s relaxing.
We tried our hand at selfies but it was dark. AND then it started to rain BUT we were slightly covered anyway. Ahhhh, good times to be had when one just climbs a tree.
SO THAT LEADS ME TO YESTERDAY. I had that feeling to climb a tree again. BUT IT’S FREAKING WINTER NOW. Booooooooooo!
But tree-climbing gives me that special feeling. Like a bird perched up high. Like a little person trying to hide. Like a girl who just wants to be sky high.
Anyone else wanna try?