All summer long, I wanted to climb a rock wall. After reading Andrew Clements’ Extra Credit in early June, I began to wonder what it would be like to scale a wall, propelling myself upwards. I caught myself eyeing the wall at a local community center, sizing up the task. Occasionally I would let my imagination take over, closing my eyes, envisioning myself reaching the top with a final burst of energy! So, when my fellow camper looked at me this summer and said, “I want to climb the rock wall,” I looked back at her with confidence and said, “Me too!”

The next afternoon I found myself being strapped into a harness that felt less like a brace and more like an over-sized diaper. I adjusted my helmet and peered up at my opponent. “I may not make it all the way to the top.” “Oh, you’ll make it to the top,” my spotter countered. I stepped closer the wall, hoping he was right.

“On belay?” “Belay on.” “Spotter ready?” “Spotter ready.” “Climbing.” “Climb on!” I looked ahead inspecting the colored holds, bolted to the wall. Deciding which ones to pick was like beginning the climb up a tree. I reached for two slightly above my head and hoisted myself up slightly until my feet found their footing. I was on the wall! Slowly, one by one, I inspected the holds to the sides and above me, carefully choosing my next move. I stretched wide like a kid on monkey bars. Just when all four limbs found a new position, help would come from below as my harness lifted, shifting my weight into place.

This routine went on for a few minutes until…. The adventure continues tomorrow!