Androgynous Ninja Kid and His/Her Complicated Sense of Fun

It was a Friday afternoon.  Once again, Chase St. Park, the sandpit gymnastics area. 

I'd been wanting to see if I could still climb the slanted posts of the gymnastics set.  There are four of these posts slanted at a 30 degree angle, holding up 2 chin-up bars and 2 gymnastics rings.  At the apex point of these posts is the intersection of the pole and the top of the crossbar which holds up the rings --- this is about 17-20 feet off the ground.  If someone reaches that apex, its shows to me and probably lots of onlookers how built their bodies are for the challenges of medieval warfare.  They'd be scary to mess with.  It usually takes me anywhere from 15-40 seconds to make my way towards the apex.

At the peak of my arms training just months ago, I was able to reach the respective apexes of those 4 posts 1 time each and an additional 2 times.  My arms were clearly still ready for war, or a dual with Juan Manuel Marquez (least I'd a done better than the latest version of Pac)

First time I did it on this Friday afternoon, it was a struggle, but was happy that after a 4-month layoff of any intentional arm-building activity, I could still make my way up.

I'd just finished my 3rd climbing.  Legs curled up on the posts.  Perhaps pulling too tightly.  One pull after another.  Right arm - pull up.  Left arm - pull up.  Right arm - pull up.  With increasing intensity and stress on arms and shoulders ---  a struggle, but I touched the apex point and made my climb and jump down.

This pulling up takes a lot out of me. I sit outside of the sandpit to the periphery.

At the corner of my eye, a little shaggy curly haired half white/Asian boy or girl in sweatpants about 5 feet 2 and a hooded sweater is circling around the block on his/her mountain bike.  I can't quite see because I don't have any glasses.  It appears that s/he wants to use the gymnastics set.

Sure enough, s/he does.

S/he circles the parking lot one last time.  S/he sets his bike down at the opposite corner of the sandpit and it looks like he's headed for the slanted post facing him.  S/he approaches it very lightly, quietly, only s/he's not going to use his/her arms.  I know exactly what's coming and suddenly have all the confidence in the world that s/he's going to climb it super-efficiently.

After an initial slip, s/he steps on the slanted posts as if to walk on them while pulling him/herself up.  S/he takes the opposite position as me, where I'm on the other side of the post pulling myself up only by my arms.  Within 15 seconds, s/he is a top the apex, both feet on the post. 

S/he grabs the crossbar.  S/he reaches for the chain holding up one of the gymnastics rings.  S/he grabs hold of it and swings to the other chain holding the other ring.  S/he grabs the other chain.  S/he gently makes his/her way down the chain onto the rings.  S/he puts both feet on top of the rings before sliding his/her small efficient thighs into the rings.  S/he rocks back and forth as if it these gymnastics rings were his/her personal swing. 

Within 2 minutes, s/he's got a deep swing going. To make things interesting, s/he slackens her hold on the rings by leaving just his/her hamstrings in between the rings.  S/he swings back and forth for about a minute or two before he pulls him/hersself back up.  S/he grabs the chains. She takes his/her feet out.  She stands on the rings again, drops his/her hands on the rings for him/her to grab and finally jumps down.