I dreamt I was on the wall last night. My hand reaching up, feeling for the qualities of the hold — was it deep, could I pull on it, would it hold? Yes? Then, climb. This was surprising in my dream because the hold was a porcelain sculpture of a cluster of fragile looking mushrooms, and yet, I climbed.

What’s not surprising? That yesterday I went climbing for the first time in over a year. I went to bed thinking about climbing, revisited it in my dreams, and woke up feeling like I’d like just come off the wall. I remembered more than I thought I would, that is, the part of me that is my body remembered things I don’t know in my head, as if all of the routes I’d ever climbed were stored somewhere deep in the muscle memory. I moved feeling the weight of my body, the swing and pull of my arms, hanging to rest, reaching to find the next foot position, crouching small then swinging up and out leading with the hips to secure the hold then flow into the next move, up and up, finding the movement as I go.

As expected, my arms didn’t last as long as I’d hoped, the result of year’s worth of ignoring any regular upper body conditioning in favor of running. But, now I have the proper motivation. I don’t want to fall off the wall in my dream.

Writer, researcher, observer