There's a lot of caves around that require one to go down and then back up ropes in order to see them. I've lost about 50 lbs so far, but I was pretty sure I'm still too heavy to consider doing much rope work as of yet. Avis and Gerald Moni hosted climbing practice tonight at their house for the Nashville Grotto, and John Hickman rigged me up into what is called a Rope Walker system.
I ended up getting my butt about 6 or 7 feet off the ground before I had them lower me back down. I just didn't feel very good about it. The reasons for this as I can tell and from talking to others are:
1. I'm still just too fat. I'm very top heavy and it was making me tilt very far backwards, which makes it more difficult to climb and tires my arms out quicker.
2. The equipment didn't really fit someone my size very well, but this really relates back to reason number one.
3. Damn, it was hot tonight. I was on the rope at 8pm and it was still 90 degrees outside with no breeze and high humidity.
4. My legs are still weaker than I thought from the cave trip to Guffey. I thought they were OK by now, but climbing up the rope my quadriceps still felt very rubbery.
5. It's the first time I've ever tried on climbing gear, so it may be that I just wasn't used to it at all. In retrospect I probably should have just hung there for a bit to get used to it.
I think I'll try again once I'm below 250, which as of this morning is about 32 pounds away.