Saturday, February 09, 2013


Rose at six and walked down to Montavilla Park to look at their play equipment. I want something I can climb on. It was mostly, of course, lilliputian. There was a rope I could climb a couple feet on, with my feet braced against ribs of wood: but I couldn't get through the space at the top that let you onto the platform. And some vertical and near-vertical poles: but not above ten feet tall, and anyway, I'm not strong enough yet to climb hand over hand. It was quiet; nobody in the park at dawn. The cold of the metal sank into my hands and throbbed.

So, failure, in a way: I was looking for something, somewhere, that I could climb for free. The monkey-bars that I remember from my youth, which were probably just this lilliputian. Taking my own advice, remembering what joyful movement used to mean to me. I always, always hated running, but I loved to climb. I'm mulling over bolting some metal pipe to the beam in the erstwhile garage, that I could hang from and pull myself up to. Wondering whether any of the trees in our yard could bear the weight of a climbing rope. How did I let a capacity so central to my identity – that of being able to scale ropes, trees, anything that afforded hand- and foot-holds – disappear?

Failure, in a way: but still, my hands have had a workout – they'll be a little sore tomorrow. So it's a success, really. I've worked a little more on reclaiming my ability to move myself. And I walked briskly back, going back and forth along the odd little terraces between 86th and 83rd Avenue: I think it counts as half an hour of exercise.

1 comment:

Lucy said...

One of our favourite parks in Lamballe has climbing equipment for adults, it's fairly austere and dull, as exercise clearly has to become in adulthood, but I think there are some monkey bars. But wouldn't it be good to have proper grown-up sized playgrounds? Do get some good gloves with grips on though!