if you've ever seen me, you are probably aware that i am a dumpy little middle aged lady. i am over 50, overweight, and although you can't tell it by looking at me, i have bad rotator cuffs and bad knees.
i used to climb trees all the time. in my childhood i spent a lot of time just hanging out in trees. you know how it's always hardest getting up to that first branch?
yeah. i can't pull myself up the way i used to, nor can i throw a leg over and lever myself up because i'm just not that flexible, not that strong, and let's face it: i have a hole in the patellar tendon on the right side and the orthopedist said it's not so much a question of whether it will rupture but WHEN it will rupture, so i try to be careful.
all this is king of a long preamble to the bit where i tell you that "climb a tree" has been on the venture challenge every year that i've done it, and although i have wanted very much to do that, i have not been able to do it.
it has not been for lack of trying.
or lack of searching. because if you have climbed a lot of trees, you know that some trees just have more climbability than others.
anyway, i was out playing ingress last week (because of course i was) and i found myself in the field where i used to play as a child when we ventured waaaaay up into the fields and climbed trees. back then it wasn't greenspace given to community gardens and walking trails between the condos and housing developments. back then the developments just came to a stop a few streets above us, and we referred to that vast tract of land as THE FIELDS, even though much of it was forest.
so i was sitting on a bench beside the bike path, pleased at how much of the fields had been preserved as recreational space and how much of it was still wild-ish and how many of the old climbing trees were still standing and, by the looks of the scuff marks on their trunks, still used for climbing.
a tree that gets climbed has distinctive wear patterns.
so i decided to try.
on the third tree i tried, i had some moderate success but i didn't feel like i had really gotten up into the tree, but i was going to call it good enough for the venture challenge because the venture challenge is more about doing things than it is about passing proficiencies.
but i kept trying, because it was a lovely afternoon and because nostalgia is a powerful thing.
in tree number six, voilà! i am off the ground. it is a windy day and i just sit there a long while, feeling the sway of the tree.