M and D dropped by the climbing gym yesterday, which meant that I finally got to meet M's new podling. (M was my roommate for four years in college, and it blows my mind that she's a mother now.) Podling was adorable, about two weeks old and the size of a small watermelon; she has soft dark hair, features like a squashed potato and the tiniest little fingers (topped by eensy miniscule fingernails). She was limp and completely asleep the entire time, but I'm assured that her eyes are (for now) a beautiful blue.
I was also completely amazed by the presence of arm hair on the podling. (Babies have arm hair. Who knew?) I'll have to drop by M's place sometime for a longer visit, when I'm not at the climbing gym and coated with sweat and chalk dust.
While at the climbing gym I took a shot at the Junior Team Climb, a route that had been set up to rank the members of the (you got it) Junior Climbing Team. Apparently it starts as a 5.8 at the bottom, and works its way to a 5.13 (or so I'm told) at the top. I made it about a third of the way up and then started slipping. The holds got very smooth and very far apart; even by cheating on the rope and planting feet on the (illegal) opposite wall, I couldn't get much further. paleotheist
did a couple of moves differently and acquitted herself much better. I'll have to try it again.
We had lots of new-ish climbers at the gym; it really makes me pay more attention to technique. When climbing I generally tend to throw myself at the wall without much thought; watching other people climb (especially people who are new to the sport) really makes me more aware of technique, of which foot to place on which hold, how to balance, and the angles at which new holds should be approached. Being more conscious of movement, and flow. It's nice to look at something familiar with new eyes.
(edit: the Junior Team Climb is a 5.8 to 5.12a climb. It's still freakin' hard.)