Climbing in the Time of Corona

Well, well, well…a lot has happened in the month since I last made a post for theDIHEDRAL.  Turns out none of y’all wash your hands and we all have IBS. It’s ok, no judgement (lots of judgement). It’s just now I realize what a huge flex it was for me to wrap someone’s house in TP when I was a pre-teen. (Yeah, I was pretty cool.)


To be horribly honest with you, the start of this whole thing was somewhat exciting (for lack of a better word). I don’t mean I was jumping up and down at the illnesses and death, I’m more referring to the awe of witnessing events that will be in history books. I live in Texas, so often we have closed schools for hurricanes or flooding, but never in my life have I seen the shutdown of a city from a pandemic.

No more climbing gym (it’s closed), no more work (I teach, and schools are closed). We’re
supposed to stay in as much as possible to “flatten the curve.” I was going to write another listicle of how to work on climbing when you can’t be at the gym and/or how to combat the boredom (no one really talks about that aspect of “disaster”, huh?). But there are people out there with better workouts than I would give, and plenty of entertainment options that you already know about at home, so instead…it’s story time! Did you know, boys and girls, that I have been social distancing long before it was popular? It’s true!


Let me tell you that despite being involved a very interactive sport, I am quite the introvert. Actually, that may be inaccurate. I do enjoy being social, but I have to build up to it. Doesn’t Kendrick Lamar say something about being an extroverted introvert? I have some social anxiety, is what I’m really trying to say.

Also, important to know for this tale: I work contracts at a lot of different schools, so I see a high volume of kids. And as it turns out, the climbing gym is a pretty popular
birthday/elementary hangout on the weekends. So, that is the precursor to this embarrassment.

So… I recently bought some leggings online that were guaranteed to give me the best-looking butt ever. I know how risky it is to buy leggings online, I KNOW. But I did it anyway. The leggings are embarrassing. They basically make it look like I have a permanent wedgie. I guess this is what makes a good butt? Wedgies? Anyway, I spent too much on them and I’m stubborn, so I wore these ass/wedgie leggings to the rock gym.


I ALSO happened to wear a shirt that my friend bought me for my birthday. It has a Furby on it, drawn like it’s on a Tarot card, and says “THE DEVIL.” Don’t @ me, ok? We are hilarious and that is just our humor.

So, I’m doing some up and downs and really just planning on a quick gym trip. Some endurance training and then I’m out of there. But I see this woman walking around the auto belays that I recognize. She is just one of those people that will lock you down for hours long conversations that involve her diabetic dog and her husband’s infidelity. There is generally no escape when this lady gets her claws in you.

But I have been an introvert for a long time. I can avoid people like the…haha…like the plague! *ba DUM tssss*

I bolt to the secluded bouldering area. I’m dodging her vision like a master class spy.

Successful avoidance. I can do a 4×4 for my endurance training on the bouldering wall instead. No problem. I take off my harness.

Now, let me try to explain to you. I have a fat butt. I am chubby. When you take off your
harness and you have a fat butt, there’s a certain amount of wiggling involved that can beconstrued as…hmm…stripper-y? I ASSURE you this is only because I’M FAT. Please, also
remember that I have on the wedgie/ass leggings.

So, I take off my harness. And then I hear behind me…


Several of my drama students. Fourth and fifth graders watching me wiggle out of a harness with my butt cheeks as prominent as can be in these stupid, overly expensive wedgie leggings.  This was some karma.

I turn around quickly and put on the teacher act, asking how they are and acting generally excited to see them. Maybe I can make them all forget the ass leggings. Then the adult in charge walks up, a parent I recognize, and we begin chatting. It’s pleasant for a moment until she does a cursory glance at my t-shirt.

My Devil Furby/Satan-looking t-shirt.


Can someone purse their lips any tighter? No. The mood changes. She quickly ushers the
children away. I am left with my ass pants in utter embarrassment.

My point in telling this story? Well, listen. If you go to the gym and wear ass/wedgie leggings, you WILL see someone you know. Likewise, if you go to the gym during a time of pandemic, you will help spread a virus to people who can’t fight it off. Did those comparisons work? Not at all? Ok, I just wanted to tell you my ass/wedgie story, dammit!

Have a lovely quarantine. Be safe and be clean! The boredom will end, eventually, and we’ll all be back on the climbing walls soon enough.


Jen Alger contributor (theDIHEDRAL)

22 Replies to “Climbing in the Time of Corona”

  1. I woke up way too early this morning & started reading so not to wake my husband. This little treat of a post made me giggle especially your drawings. We all need a little more humble humor in this age of “Stay at Home” or better known as “Stuck at Home”. My internet back in the far reaches of my house kept fading so had to wait till we had been up to even post this little comment.

    Thanx a million Batgirl

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Ha ha ha ha! You’re right. Go out of the house in a thing you would never wear out of the house and you will see EVERYONE YOU KNOW. I was born an introvert so if it weren’t for the chapped hands aspect of this, I don’t think I’d notice. OH BTW, I don’t know how accessible these things are to you but I’ve had some contact with these things called rocks that are usually way away from people. You might want to look for some, maybe, if you can. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  3. You are so funny :D. Thanks for liking my first blog post by the way. I’m new to WordPress so I have a lot to learn and dare I say it, I can learn a lot from you 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  4. That was brilliant!
    I am the same, as a “nature-freak” and someone prone to “hermitting” I have been training for this my whole life. The introverts will inherit the earth.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I was trying to twin you with the football playing writer as I am sure his article or I was thinking it seems her article had similar cartoons going in and further thinking now chubby football player. Then intro/extrovert ex football now climbing non mainstream social dude I mean dudess and then ahh you get shafted by the straight mob at the very end and then there’s a photo and … Lots of mainstreamers climb did you know, but I am safer knowing there is a talent scout out there wondering if more teachers do it because they should, where clothing not to be grey.


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