I have two older sisters; they are amazing women and are pretty much the most influential and supportive people in my life. The three of us are thick as thieves despite being 1,300 miles apart. I miss them every day! Of course, it wasn’t always that way, being the youngest of three has its peaks and valleys. One peak was that by the time I was in high school my sisters had essentially broken my parents to the point that I was able to go or do almost anything I wanted without so much as a warning of concern. A valley would be that the youngest child often gets worn out hand-me-downs. Making matters worse, when you’re the only male offspring, hand-me-downs can lead to some interesting character-building situations. Like the time in 8th grade gym class when I came out of the boy’s locker room wearing my oldest sister’s hand-me-down sexy blue Bermuda shorts, only to find Beth Williams coming out of the girl’s locker room wearing the exact same pair. I think I wore them better, but by middle school standards that took a moment to live down. Sure, back in the day my friends were going hard on things like Transformers, but I doubt any of them were ever able to appreciate the inviting smell of Blueberry Muffin’s or Apple Dumpling’s scalp (if you aren’t a little brother with two older sisters, then you should know these are the names of two of Strawberry Shortcake’s friends – these toys had beautifully scented heads). Peaks and valleys!
Time has a way of turning metaphorical valley’s into metaphorical peaks! One of my sisters is just one year older than me, not quite Irish twins, but close. And let’s just say that we spent an inordinate amount of time testing our parent’s patience. Typical middle child/youngest child clashes. I would be sitting quietly, and she would sneak up and pinch me until I bled. Or sometimes I would be watching TV and she would throw a pool cue at my head. Once I started getting into puberty, two things happened… 1) I was a little stronger and so able to defend myself a little better and 2) She (along with our older sister) shaved my legs while I slept. As I got stronger physically, I devised a way of avoiding my sister’s infectious talons while also avoiding punishment for fighting. Whenever a scuffle would commence, I simply laid on the floor, then I’d hold my sister on top of me. Once one of our parents entered the scene of the assault, I would beg them to get her off me. And just like that, advantage Carrot! She of course developed a counter strike where she would just sit next to me and dig her claws into the skin of an arm or leg. If I used my newfound strength to pull her hand off, the evacuation would result missing clumps of skin and flesh. Her grip was like a pneumatic claw, it was like the bite of a rabid dog. It would only release when she decided to commute the sentence. Eventually, we found a balance (she moved out) and we’ve been besties ever since!!! So, what is the figurative transition from valley to peak in the case of the unyielding sister pinch?
Well, the sister pinch has become my go to climbing technique when I need to find an extra gear. A pinch is a hold where the most efficient way to grab it, is to pinch it. Oftentimes they appear on a vertical wall, and require just a moderate amount of strength, but sometimes you’ll find them on a sketchier overhanging ‘oh shit’ spot where you need to dial it up. At those moments I just summon my inner sister and pinch that sucker like it was innocently watching Big Bird on a Thursday morning before getting ready for school. I may fall off the route, but not without getting a little blood! When I engage the sister pinch, I know I gave it my all!
Just like that we transition from a valley to a peak (figuratively and literally).
The Scars are still visible, but the leg hair has grown back! Thanks for the motivation Sis!
Shoutout to Beth Williams for her impeccable taste!