Saturday, August 27, 2011

A New Skill

Sammy had been swinging on this fine maple tree and wondered how one climbs a tree. Grandpa could be little help in this category. Climbing a tree is a great childhood pastime. It doesn't always come naturally, especially for those of us with a fear of heights or uncertainty as to the tree's stability. (Not to mention arthritis, great body mass, no flexibility, etc.)

On Sunday, Jeff gave Sammy instructions on the art of tree climbing.

The first step is to find a study tree. This maple looks like a great climbing tree.

Dad Jeff was saying that when starting your ascent, look for a sturdy place for your foot or a secure spot for your hand. Trees have gnarls, knots, bark holes, smaller branches etc., that you can use as footholds.

I like this advice. Think of the actions of climbing animals. Think about how a monkey or a koala might climb the tree. It will give you a mental image of agility to keep your mind focused on climbing. Be very steady and firm in your climbing at first, as you get used to the climbing, you will be able to clamber up more quickly.

Last lesson was in descending the tree. To go down make sure you move slowly and take your time. Most of the time it helps to climb down facing the tree rather than trying to climb outwards.
Sammy arrived safely on the ground with a new sense of accomplishment. Grandpa's book on the art of tree climbing will be available soon on

Tomorrow - home.


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