Days left in Singapore: 8
Days left until arrival in the Queen City: 15
And a good evening to you all from across the globe after another GREAT DAY in the Lion City. The Bull made perhaps his last visit to Fitness First tonight, logging 31 KM on the bike in just over an hour. I must give credit where credit's due and confirm that the dudes around me were really going for it on the bike tonight - people were actually pumping the pedals and potentially even sweating a bit. Suddenly I no longer felt like Lance Armstrong and was really glad I wasn't rocking the neon yellow Livestrong shirt (Hairless, you know that one - it's your favorite).
|Team Taylor at the Railay lookout, looking back over East Railay (the side) |
we stayed on. T-Rowe - notice that I'm rocking (and sweating in)
your favorite shirt. I'm thinking of giving this to Ben as a present...
So in my first post I mentioned how we were vacationing in the fittest place on earth. This is 100% true, as I was EASILY the weakest and fattest guy on the island. And granted, I do carry a nice dunlop with me everywhere I go, but still - I'm relatively thin (and admittedly weak). But on the walk up to the rocks, I was feeling good - I'd done the indoor stuff before, I had some SWEET climbing shoes on (the rubber on the soles is the same stuff they use to make F1 tires - cool, huh?), and I was refreshed from a great night's sleep. Our guide, Tu, was actually Jenny's guide the month before, but clearly homeslice didn't remember her. He did have a decent command of English, and after a brief introduction, me, Muffin, and 2 Dutch cats (Roland and his wife Peternel) were ready to tackle the cliff face (mom, don't panic - you're strapped in by about 1500 cables - you ain't goin' ANYWHERE).
|Move over, Sir Edmund Hillary - the Striker is now Queen|
of the Mountain. Look at her go!
After that, however, we turned it over to the OTHER half of Team Taylor - this guy. Folks, I got no lie to tell, I got halfway up and I was EXHAUSTED. Now granted, I'm sure my technique was bad and I was using my arms too much, but regardless, about halfway up I just couldn't go any further. After a few failed attempts (and a few bleeding wounds), I asked Tu to let me down. The conversation went like this:
Sammy the Bull (StB): "Tu, I can't do it, mate. Let me down."
Tu the Pygmy Douchebag (TtPD): "No. Believe in yourself. You can do it. Don't be scared."
StB: "Dude, I'm not scared. I'm exhausted. I need to rest."
TtPD: "Don't use your arms to much. You are not thinking. Try again."
StB: (louder now - others can here) "Tu, I CAN'T DO IT. I DON'T WANT TO DO IT AND I'M OKAY WITH THAT. LET ME DOWN."
TtPD: "No. Everyone else can do it. You are the only person I've had in 4 years who cannot do this. Climb!"
StB: "(We apologize - this portion of the broadcast is edited as Sammy the Bull dropped the f-bomb about 6 times and just stopped shy of cursing Tu's mother. We now return you to your regularly scheduled blog, already in progress."
|Sammy the Bull in a rare moment of success en route to his|
first successful summit. Needless to say I don't look quite
as graceful as Jenny, who looked like she was born in
Katmandu and moved to Florida by accident.
We then move to the next spot, and this time I get about three quarters of the way up (with a nice gash on my right shin that is now a sweet scar - at least I can say, "Yeah, I got that baby rock climbing in Railay") before I just can't move. Again, Tu and I get into a shouting match, and he reminds me that he's never had anyone fail before and now I've failed twice. His words of encouragement include:
1. "Work harder!"
2. "Quit being scared!"
4. "Stop doing the wrong thing!"
5. "Don't be the one who fails!"
|Movie poster for "Vertical Limit 2: Invasion of the Chang|
Powered Ang Mo's"
|Sam and Tu acting like they don't want to kill each other.|
I really did contemplate strangling him with the belay rope.
As much as I'm bitching here, the climbing was really fun. Granted, I was disappointed in myself (no other way to describe it - I was really down and somewhat embarrassed), but I definitely was glad that I did it and do think I'll try the indoor stuff in Charlotte (especially since I know there's a beginner section). And more importantly, Jenny was a force of NATURE scrambling up that thing, and it was really fun to watch her go. I was very proud of my fearless wife.
|Notice the hands - the only clean spot is where|
I taped over all the gashes on my hand.
We then took much needed showers before rolling over to the Diamond Cove for a few mojitos and some GREAT seafood (Yes, you read that right - we went somewhere OTHER than Last Bar). The food was amazing, and we were starving from the day's exertions. Seriously - I burned more calories on this vacation than I have all the others in Asia combined! And of course, that meant there was more room for Tim Tams, which we then consumed with a vengeance back in the room.
|Notice the opening behind Jenny - that's the "staircase of Doom"|
descending to "the lagoon." You know, when you think about
it, we could have been on the set of "The Descent" or something
like that. Luckily I had Lara Croft to protect me.
|Cheers to a successful day! And to $3 mojitos...|
Okay, that's all the news that's fit to print. Chat Saturday morning (vs. tomorrow because MUFFIN PUFFIN ARRIVES!!!!!!!!!)!
Sam and (now in the Mumbai airport awaiting her SQ flight back to the Lion City and a very lonely and excited Husband Bear) Jenny (and Lady Catherine)