I went to a park with some friends because they were going to practice doing some basic Parkour moves. We wandered around for a while, until we found a nice patch of grass. I learned how to roll properly, which is pretty cool (although I did feel a little silly).
After rolling in the grass a bit, we went to a bench that we practiced vaulting. It seemed like a very unnatural movement (almost as if humans weren’t specifically designed for vaulting benches), but it was a fun thing to try. I now appraise the vaultability of every bench I walk past.
After these warm-up activities, we wandered around some trees looking for good climbing material. We happened to walk past a tree with all of it’s lower limbs removed (up to about 9′-10′ above ground-level), and I decided I was going to attempt to climb it. One of the more useful tree-climbing “moves” one can learn is how to run up the trunk for one or two steps, which often gives one the expanded range needed to grab branches that would otherwise be out of reach.
I took off my flip-flops and had a go. I tried several times and brushed the branch with my fingers, but just couldn’t get a good grip. Then my friend managed to grab ahold of a branch, so I returned with renewed focus. Perhaps it was the copious globs of pine-sap on my feet, or perhaps it was simply the fuel of competition, but at last I grabbed onto that branch.
At that point, though, I didn’t particularly feel like climbing any further in that tree. You see, it was a pine tree, and pines always have these small branches angled at about 30º – 45º down from the perfectly level climbing branches, which always manage to poke one in the eye or ear. In general, I’m knot really a fan of climbing certain conifers. They’re just too messy. Which is a pity, because they generally have very nice limb-structure and are a fairly easy climb otherwise.
So, after such a hard-fought battle to reach this low branch, I just dropped to the grass and went on my way. I guess a Math analogy would be to call the climbing of the rest of the tree “purely formal”.