Yes, you read the title right. Let me explain. Back in my early middle school days, I used to go to a private school. By any means, this wasn’t a rich school (Though according to my parents they were paid well enough to be). So, don’t ask if I got caviar and stuff because I didn’t. In fact, we needed to bring our own lunch. Why am I telling you this? Field trips were rare, and we didn’t possess basic facilities like a gym. You can imagine how excited we were when a local indoor rock-climbing place offered the school free use of their place for a gym course. We bounced off the walls in excitement to try our hands at it. When we first arrived, we were told exactly what we were learning… and some of us weren’t excited anymore. We were going to both climb and belay fellow classmates. For those who don’t know, belaying is the person holding the rope for the climber. It’s their job to pace and keep up with the climber so the rope doesn’t slack. Thus, preventing said person from falling, flipping over, tied up, etc. They claimed anyone could partner up with each other since the belayer is attach to the ground by a hook and harness. Meaning, someone five feet tall could belay someone a foot taller than them and weighed considerably more. Do you see the potential disaster yet?
Anyways, we pair up for the day. My partner was someone half my size/weight and I got a bad feeling. Didn’t matter though… we weren’t allowed to say no, or our grade would suffer. I took my feet off the safe padded ground and ascended the wall. The entire way I could feel the line was loose; saying this a couple times and slowing down for them to catch up. Once at the top and slapping the bar, I looked down and asked them to gently lower me down. I felt the line go slack and I fell straight down to the floor. My life flashed before my eyes… a good thing too since it reminded me how to fall without hurting myself. As the free-falling sensation tingled my skin and wind blew passed my ears, I steadied my feet to land. When I smacked the ground, my body vibrated and fell backwards. Suspended slightly off the ground for one of the adults noticed the incident. Looking over, I saw my fellow student off the ground and in the air… only stopped by the hook. I shook a bit from the shock while crowded by everyone. I don’t think anyone checked me for injury. Just asked if I was ok, I said yes, and that was that. The kicker is this happened three more times afterwards… with no punishment, retelling the rules, or redemonstrating to prevent it from happening again. Can you imagine why left this school in that year? Oh, the irresponsibility of that school (You’ll hear more about it)… Funny enough I did see the appropriate response from a teacher when this happened while in high school… something I’ll save for another day.