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View Full Version : did anyone ever actually have to climb a rope in gym class


PSXer
11-05-2010, 04:21 PM
I never did

is it just a TV cliche

Unauthorized Cinnamon
11-05-2010, 04:23 PM
We did it in elementary school. I remember people got a lot of respect if they got to the top and touched the rafter or whatever it was attached to.

Ferret Herder
11-05-2010, 04:23 PM
We had ropes and poles (hung from the rafters by a bit of chain) in gym class at my middle school. I sucked at climbing.

Beadalin
11-05-2010, 04:24 PM
Yes. I sucked at it.

Terraplane
11-05-2010, 04:26 PM
I did in elementary school during the 80's. Climb the rope, ring the bell at the top, and climb back down. It was pretty high up too, I wouldn't be surprised if nobody has them anymore, seems like a lawsuit waiting to happen.

Harmonious Discord
11-05-2010, 04:29 PM
Yes during the late 60's and early 70's. Most kids couldn't do it, but they never thought the kids how to do it properly.

Musicat
11-05-2010, 04:29 PM
I never saw that exercise until junior high, but since so many students couldn't do it, it was quickly dropped. We had better things to do, like winning basketball and football games.

Kevbo
11-05-2010, 04:31 PM
Had-to? It was a rare treat that I was allowed to. It was dead easy if you could grip the rope between your feet. I got in trouble for grabbing the steel trusswork rafters and starting across the gym.

Czarcasm
11-05-2010, 04:36 PM
Yup.
Got a D- in rope climbing....and an A+ in falling.

tdn
11-05-2010, 04:37 PM
Yes, we had to. I don't remember kids who couldn't make it to the top, but there probably were some.

Remember that scene in Wayne's World where Garth says that Heather Lockleer makes him feel like he's climbing the rope in gym class? I know exactly what he was talking about. I'd sometimes have an involuntary orgasm when climbing. Then the kids at the bottom would ask what was taking me so long. "uh... nothin'!"

Sattua
11-05-2010, 04:38 PM
We were given the opportunity to try in late elementary and junior high. Almost no one could, and (for once) it wasn't graded.

Again... law suit waiting to happen. Probably the only really dangerous thing we did in gym.

E. Thorp
11-05-2010, 04:43 PM
First grade, early '70s. I was terrible at it, never got anywhere, and was relieved when my family moved and I started at a ropeless school.

Turpentine
11-05-2010, 04:44 PM
We sure did. And I was the best at it!

sevenwood
11-05-2010, 04:45 PM
Oh, yes. This was in high school in the mid-sixties.

The rope went to the rafters in the gym, which was pretty high up. You were taught to use your legs/feet to retain a grip on the rope (and help pull you up), but it was a matter of pride for those of us on the wrestling team to begin in a sitting position with your legs straight and horizontal and to climb as far as you could using just your arms while keeping your legs straight and horizontal.

Realize, of course, that I wrestled in the 112-pound class my senior year, so it's not like I had a whole lot of weight to lift...

Tastes of Chocolate
11-05-2010, 04:47 PM
Yep, elementary school in the '70s. We also had cargo nets (ok, maybe climbing nets that looked like cargo nets) that we would climb.

DCnDC
11-05-2010, 04:49 PM
Yup. Mid-80s elementary school. Probably not actually as high as I remember them being, but at the time seemed insanely high. Looking back on it I am shocked we were not only allowed to do it, but encouraged to.

gotpasswords
11-05-2010, 04:50 PM
I have not-so-fond memories of that scratchy rope, a high ceiling and a 2" thick red mat on the floor.

Just thick enough to protect the floor. Not so good for protecting Fred's arm after he lost his grip.

ETA: This was 1980 or so.

friedo
11-05-2010, 04:50 PM
We had ropes in elementary school in the 80's but I was never able to climb them. (I probably could have done it if they had only taught us how. Nobody seemed interested in making us do it.)

Vastly more fun, though, was a giant rope cargo net that was hung from the ceiling that they would occasionally let down and anchor to the floor. You could climb that easily, and it would be at maybe a 70-degree angle with respect to the floor. For some reason, the metal pipe it was attached to always had a static charge, so you knew someone had reached the top as soon as you heard *zap* "Ow!"

Justin_Bailey
11-05-2010, 04:50 PM
Yup. Elementary school in the late 80s. Although I guess we didn't "have to" as only a handful of kids could do it per class. It was purely optional as far as I remember.

cwthree
11-05-2010, 04:50 PM
Yeah, in Jr. High (late '70s - early '80s). I sucked at it. We had the cargo nets, too, but I never got to try those.

Drunky Smurf
11-05-2010, 04:52 PM
We had to climb poles and try to grab a rag at the top in Jr. high in the early 90's. If we did you didn't have to do the triathalon thingy they did for a "final" at the end of the year. Only three others and I were able to do it.

tdn
11-05-2010, 04:53 PM
I remember having not one rope, but many. There were maybe six of them, and sometimes we had races. When they weren't in use, the bottom ends were tied to the wall.

Justin_Bailey
11-05-2010, 04:54 PM
I remember having not one rope, but many. There were maybe six of them, and sometimes we had races. When they weren't in use, the bottom ends were tied to the wall.

That's what we had too, but it was only three ropes.

Noone Special
11-05-2010, 04:55 PM
I had to climb a rope in J. High and in High School. That would have been in the '70-s.

Just this week my 13-yo son had to climb a rope at his school, so they're still doing it. They're teaching it right, too (what we call the "step" method -- trapping the rope between both feet and creating a "step" on which to rest one's weight.)

This is in Israel, not the US, so YMMV.

Skald the Rhymer
11-05-2010, 04:56 PM
We had to. But it didn't matter as to your grade; none of the activities did. In P.E. we were graded on participation and minimal effort. Show up every day, bring out (that is, wear your gym suit and the approved shoes) and look as if you were trying, and you were golden.

BlackKnight
11-05-2010, 04:57 PM
Elementary school in the mid-to-late 80's. It was a rare treat to climb a rope. Much simpler than climbing trees (not that that was difficult), or door jambs. The only difficulty was when they tried to make it "easy" by putting knots in the rope at regular intervals. That just screwed up the rhythm of the climb and slowed me down.

Jophiel
11-05-2010, 04:57 PM
Late 70's and into the 80's here for me in elementary school. We had ropes and occasionally would be invited to try climbing them but we weren't graded on it or forced to do so as part of our regular gym class.

carnivorousplant
11-05-2010, 04:57 PM
Yes, in High School. The only success I had in gym class was making it to the ceiling.
Took a very long time. :)

tdn
11-05-2010, 05:00 PM
I have not-so-fond memories of that scratchy rope, a high ceiling and a 2" thick red mat on the floor.

Just thick enough to protect the floor. Not so good for protecting Fred's arm after he lost his grip.

I remember thinking that if someone fell, the mat wasn't going to do much.

Alienhand
11-05-2010, 05:08 PM
Sort of. It was part of the school's fitness test for my older brothers. For me, in 2nd and 3rd it was just a cargo net, 4th and 5th was a rope with knots and I didn't have to do it after that. I don't know if it was just our school or the statewide fitness test (http://www.sde.ct.gov/sde/lib/sde/pdf/curriculum/phys_ed/fitness_guide/pages%2013-24%20from%20physical_fitness_guide.pdf) that dropped it but it prompted my older brother to whine about "kids these days" for which he has been mocked for 15+ years.

ratatoskK
11-05-2010, 06:03 PM
We did and I loved it! Being up near the gym ceiling looking down at everyone was great!

Larry Mudd
11-05-2010, 06:06 PM
I also excelled at the rope thing, in stark contrast to most gym activities. This is one area where having practically no mass was actually an advantage.

chizzuk
11-05-2010, 06:10 PM
In elementary school we were allowed to try. In middle school only the boys had to. Somebody fell and broke their collarbone and then they didn't do it any more.

Zeldar
11-05-2010, 06:21 PM
Yes. High school gym/PE. One of several timed or counted events in a fitness program. Chin-up, push-up, sit-up, squat jump, side straddle hop, and one or two I'm forgetting. I had the best rope climb time in the class!

Purd Werfect
11-05-2010, 06:24 PM
Yes, in high school. I could not.

Khadaji
11-05-2010, 06:26 PM
Yes. I got half way. I was scared of heights.

Weedy
11-05-2010, 06:30 PM
Yes, in elementary school. We were taught how, and most kids could, as I remember. Our gym teacher was a fiend, like a caricature of a gym teacher. He was always yelling at us, and made us do push-ups, sit-ups, chin-ups, jumping jacks etc etc every class. I was amazed when I changed schools and we actually played games in gym class. This was in the '70s.

capybara
11-05-2010, 06:30 PM
In elementary school, early-mid 80s. I rocked at it. Being a girl, I have no idea what Garth was talking about. The cargo nets were awesome, too.

Freudian Slit
11-05-2010, 06:30 PM
In the 90s in elementary school sometimes they'd bring down the ropes and we'd get to climb, but it wasn't like we *had* to or that we'd get graded on it. It was more an option if we felt like it.

Kelby
11-05-2010, 06:38 PM
Yes, but it wasn't a "rope" in the usual sense, it was about 4 inches in diameter, so climbing one was akin to going up a pole, albeit a flexible one. You could use your legs in the effort.

Jenaroph
11-05-2010, 06:42 PM
Eeeyup. Climb the rope, ring the bell at the top, everybody looks up to see who made it all the way up there. Late 70s/early 80s.

moejoe
11-05-2010, 06:45 PM
We did, it was required. They wouldn't let you stop trying until you made it up the rope, and we had no mats.

I remember a girl falling from about the ten foot height and getting knocked out cold when the back of her head hit the hard gym floor. After that it was just....oh, if you feel like it....noooo pressure.

N9IWP
11-05-2010, 06:50 PM
I vaguely recall doing it once - but I suppose it could have been a dream. It was elementay school early 70s

Brian

Box A Rox
11-05-2010, 06:53 PM
We climbed ropes in school, and in the military.
I also had a rope that came from an old ski rope tow, hung from a big pine tree for my kids to climb.

D_Odds
11-05-2010, 06:55 PM
I never did

is it just a TV cliche
Yes, I climbed the rope, in multiple grades.

Mister Owl
11-05-2010, 07:31 PM
Mid 70's, highschool in Los Angeles.

*brag time*
I could climb from seated upon the ground in an "L" position, and could hold that to the top and then back to the ground. No, I wasn't a gymnast.

Xema
11-05-2010, 07:32 PM
Note that rope climbing was at one time an Olympic event (http://www.topendsports.com/events/discontinued/rope-climb.htm).

Broomstick
11-05-2010, 07:54 PM
Yep, we did it when I was in elementary school. I remember I was one of the few girls who made it all the way to the top.

The Scrivener
11-05-2010, 07:55 PM
Yes, in junior high I think (early 80's), and I was excellent at it because my father had suspended a 1 1/4 or 1 1/2"-thick rope on a big tree in our backyard for us kids when we were in elementary school. This rope swing was fantastic fun and even though we mostly swung on it (sitting on a knot tied on the bottom end), we climbed it a fair bit, too.

Lamar Mundane
11-05-2010, 08:07 PM
I did, in the 70's. My kids elementary and middle schools both had climbing walls (http://www.chelmsford.gov.uk/media/image/c/r/Climbing_wall_SWFLC_(2006)_31_(o)_large.jpg).

The Hamster King
11-05-2010, 08:40 PM
I did it in elementary school in Oklahoma in the 70's.

It was more fun than the bent-arm hang, but less fun than parachute day or crab soccer.

Does anybody else remember those?

california jobcase
11-05-2010, 09:25 PM
We had to and were graded on it in 7th-9th grade. Once you got the feet thing down, it was easy. The peg board was much harder since it was all arms. You weren't allowed to cheat by swinging sideways when you were graded.

SandyHook
11-05-2010, 09:38 PM
Yep. In high school. This was back in the early to mid 60s. It was probably 25 feet up and we had a couple of 2"ish thick pads to land on if we fell.

Jragon
11-05-2010, 09:41 PM
We had ropes and poles as part of our regular rotation in PE in elementary school in the mid-late 90s. I don't remember it being embarrassing or difficult for anyone though, I'm pretty sure that everyone could climb it, and it was pretty high up (went to the ceiling of our rather large gym). Getting down was more of a problem than getting up because of the danger of friction burns killing your will to grip what you were climbing.

TruCelt
11-05-2010, 09:46 PM
Yes, mid-seventies. I couldn't do it.

installLSC
11-05-2010, 10:16 PM
Yes. Elementary school, early 80s, awful at it.
What exactly was the point of this exercise? What use is this skill in other athletic events or what muscles does it work out? Does the rope have to natural rope (like my school) or would much smoother synthetic rope work?

appleciders
11-05-2010, 10:28 PM
Yes, in middle school. Maybe 2001. It wasn't that high (maybe fifteen, eighteen feet) and I was able to climb it, which surprised me, because I'm not small and I'm not strong. I don't think it was required, or maybe we were required to try it with no penalty for failure, and not forced to repeat it.

China Guy
11-05-2010, 11:06 PM
Sure. The studs could do it in under 5 seconds or only using arms. I remember one dude that went up in like 3 seconds.

I loved doing it.

LouisB
11-06-2010, 11:22 AM
Yeah, we had to climb a rope back in the 1950s. Our school champion was a kid who was confined to a wheel chair by polio; his upper body strength was incredible.

Lanzy
11-06-2010, 11:41 AM
Absolutely, I once climbed to the top and held onto the rafter until the next guy came up, then he held on while I went back down before he did, gym coach thought it was funny.

Trom
11-06-2010, 11:54 AM
Yes, in elementary and middle school in the 90s.

Siam Sam
11-06-2010, 12:10 PM
We were supposed to in my gym classes in junior high and high school. Every day, as part of our warm-ups. I never could do it. Many could, though.

Sampiro
11-06-2010, 12:16 PM
I did in the late 1970s when I was in 6th grade. I never could get to the top. Later in the year the class had to run an obstacle course and you had to climb to the top or give four tries. Like half the class I grabbed the rope and hopped a little 4 times and went on.

Diogenes the Cynic
11-06-2010, 12:19 PM
I did. Elementary and jr. high school in the late 70's. I was pretty small and wiry and got up to the top with little effort. They left those ropes hanging at the side of the gym all the time, and a lot of kids would scale them during dead times in PE class. In 9th grade there was a brief epidemic of pantsing guys while they were up on the ropes.

Yllaria
11-06-2010, 12:49 PM
Rope?

Nope.

Ludy
11-06-2010, 01:06 PM
We had one in elementary school (late 80's). I was never any good at it, but some kids were. It was never a big deal if you couldn't and the only memory of the rope was the one day that some kid moved the mat under the rope and the kid on the rope fell and broke his leg. As in bone sticking out and having to be flown to a hospital 3 hours away for surgery broke.

Knowing my gym teacher I wouldn't be surprized if we had to climb again as soon as the blood was cleaned from the floor.

elmwood
11-06-2010, 01:09 PM
Elementary school through the 1970s, high school in the early 1980s. Never had to climb a rope, and never knew of anyone that did it in real life. Like so many things I saw on television, I thought gym class rope climbing was just some trope or California thing.

Little Nemo
11-06-2010, 01:15 PM
We did it back in junior high and high school. I remember it was impossible for me to do for a long time. Then I watched the kids who could do it and realized there was a technique to it - you had to grip the rope with your legs as well as your arms. After that I was able to do it. It would have been helpful if they had told us this rather than just letting us figure it out on our own if we could.

alphaboi867
11-06-2010, 01:18 PM
I have vauge memories of this from 2nd or 3rd grade. Early '90s. It abruptly stopped when some kid from the high school fell and ended up paralyzed.

UncleRojelio
11-06-2010, 02:33 PM
We did it in elementary and jr. high in the 70's. It wasn't a problem for me at the time. We also got to play real dodgeball, football, and smear-the-queer. In jr. high we also had a peg board.

lindsaybluth
11-06-2010, 02:39 PM
Elementary school in the mid 90's. We also had a gym with a very dense, hard carpet. Full size basketball gym, with lines painted on and everything. The balls bounced almost as normally as hardwood. I suspect this was some sort of prevention thing for little kids. Still, I've never ever seen a gym with hard carpeting before or since.

We had a rope. I was a very good athlete - passed the president's physical fitness test nearly every year when few girls did. But damned if I did not go ANYWHERE on that rope. Boy did I envy kids who could!

Quimby
11-06-2010, 02:53 PM
I did in elementary and middle school. I am pretty sure it was a part of the Presidential Physical Fitness Test they made us do each year.

Edited to add: we also did the Parachute thing someone above asked about. Also square dancing! Yeesh that was a rough one.

panache45
11-06-2010, 02:56 PM
We had to do it in the early 60s. Some of the kids could do it; I couldn't even get my feet off the floor.

We also had to swim naked.

Alessan
11-06-2010, 03:19 PM
I have no memories of highschool gym. None whatsoever.

Should this worry me?

Guinastasia
11-06-2010, 03:50 PM
Nope, but my mother remembers having to. She hated it. (I graduated in 1996, she graduated in 1966, for what it's worth)

Mops
11-06-2010, 04:03 PM
We did (various times in the early teens); the vast majority did not make it to the top. I for one did not.

Salem
11-06-2010, 04:19 PM
Yep, elementary school in Massachusetts in the late 60s. I think we did it in junior high, too. But I remember mostly making it up to the top for the first time in 6th grade. Scared to death of the height, but thrilled I was one of the few girls who made it. Don't tell me I can't just 'cause I'm a girl..... ;)

outlierrn
11-06-2010, 04:39 PM
Plenty of times in Jr high, can't remember if it was optional or compulsory 'cuz I never would have turned it down.

gonzomax
11-06-2010, 05:08 PM
I the 50s and 60s we did it. If you got the rope swinging too badly, you would have to hang on until it settled down. It was easy. i could do it without my feet helping the climbing, just keeping the rope steady.

OpalCat
11-06-2010, 05:38 PM
Yep. We had to do it as part of Field Day when I was in elementary school in the late '70s/early '80s. I was pretty good at it. I got a lot of practice at it though, because the rope was part of the playground and always available for climbing up.

Rysdad
11-06-2010, 06:08 PM
Junior High, mid 60's...

One of the tests required to get an A in gym was to climb to the top of the rope and then lower yourself down--without using your legs or feet. Arms only.

Really Not All That Bright
11-06-2010, 06:13 PM
I did - born in '82, lived in the UK at the time.

overlyverbose
11-06-2010, 06:18 PM
Yes, every year until I graduated high school in 1994. I was really, really good at it in middle school. Even though I was ripped in high school, it was much harder, I think because I simply weighed more - more weight to haul up the rope.

samclem
11-06-2010, 06:22 PM
Absolutely, 1960-62, Arlington VA. High School.

Cunctator
11-06-2010, 07:28 PM
Yes. We had to climb a rope in PE.

Infovore
11-06-2010, 08:46 PM
Early grade school, in the early 70s. I was abysmal at it. Seemed really dangerous to me, because the rope went up quite high. I don't recall being yelled at/punished/graded down for not being able to. I was jealous of the ones who could.

Markxxx
11-06-2010, 09:02 PM
We had two kinds of rope. The real rope and the rope with knots in it so you could rest.

I got about 3/4 of the way up on the real (knotless) rope and couldn't go any more, the coach was like "Fine, just come done." So I just slide down.

It was fun for two seconds till I realized due to sliding down the rope my hand was one big bleeding blister.

The coach was like "That was dumb, now you have to clean the blood off the rope." So I did and then went to the nurse. My mum was a nurse and she looked at it and said, "Well that was dumb, c'mon were you that dumb not to know that'd happen."

So my blistered hand of yesterday probably would've been a lawsuit today

SciFiSam
11-06-2010, 09:14 PM
We did it at primary school (UK). I still have a sense memory of rope burn from coming down too fast.

SCSimmons
11-06-2010, 11:23 PM
In high school in the early 80's, we absolutely had rope-climbing requirements.

If I'd ever somehow managed to get to the top, I probably would have thrown myself off.

sunstone
11-07-2010, 12:28 AM
We had the rope. On rainy days, our high school PE class would meet in the gym without dressing down. I remember very well our PE teacher MR "B" who was also the wrestling coach. He would walk around and challenge us to climb the rope.

I had tried out for wrestling and did very well in tryouts, but then told him that I didn't want to wrestle, which made him a bit mad. So I was a special target for his jibes. (At the time, I was working as a lifeguard and swam several miles each day.)

I gave in, sat down on the mat, and proceeded to climb to the top using only my arms. I remember looking down at his very red face at the bottom of the rope. When I came down, I handed the end to him. He started up the rope and couldn't make it to the top without using his legs. Laughter ensued.

I was on his poop list from that moment on.

BTW, I probably couldn't get 3 feet up that rope today. Ahhh, youth.....

Isamu
11-07-2010, 02:30 AM
Yep. Without using legs, and in an L-sit position. Believe it or not.

FrancisCastle
11-07-2010, 04:19 AM
I remember it in elementary school in the late 80's. I could do the "easy" rope with the knots, but not the regular rope. I HATED that peg board test, my legs were always stronger than my arms.

PunditLisa
11-07-2010, 06:48 AM
Yes, we had a climbing rope in high school. I could make it about three feet up.

We also had a gymnastics rotation. We had to pick three events -- uneven parallel bars, vault, floor, and balance beam for the girls. Talk about a harrowing three weeks of gym class. I did fine on the balance beam. I tried to do a penny drop from the uneven parallel bars and landed on my head.

One of the elements of the vault was to run up, jump on the spring, then land in a tucked position on top of the horse. I ran up, jumped on the spring, and catapulted myself right over the horse.

Of course, I liked the gymnastics rotation far better than the running test. Once a quarter, they took us out onto a track and gave us 12 minutes to run 1 3/4 mile. I got a "D" on that.

Ah, the good old days.

Pai325
11-07-2010, 08:13 AM
My husband taught high school PE in the sixties and seventies and never had the kids do it. He was in high school in the fifties and never had to do it, but he remembers watching someone try. I remember seeing a rope at my high school, but never saw anyone on it.

Cubsfan
11-07-2010, 09:42 AM
Yes, we had to. I don't remember kids who couldn't make it to the top, but there probably were some.

Remember that scene in Wayne's World where Garth says that Heather Lockleer makes him feel like he's climbing the rope in gym class? I know exactly what he was talking about. I'd sometimes have an involuntary orgasm when climbing. Then the kids at the bottom would ask what was taking me so long. "uh... nothin'!"

+1

Siam Sam
11-07-2010, 10:26 PM
Is it still done in this day and age? Seems like it would be a lawsuit waiting to happen.

bengangmo
11-08-2010, 03:50 AM
Yep, I remember rope climbing.

For one PE rotation we also went canoeing, horse riding, learnt sailing and had a school traithlon.

We also did a four day tramp and spread gravel on a track walkway by carring bags of shingle up and down a 30 degree grass slope in the middle of a paddock

Nava
11-08-2010, 03:56 AM
I did. You had to climb the fifth knot to pass. The rest of the knots were all spread at the same distance, which was one I could climb fine, but that fifth knot was a knot's-width higher, leading to my elbows locking. That was one test where those people with locking elbows or short arms got a 4 and the others got a 10. I once managed to climb over that knot by grabbing the rope under it, looping it around my hand so I could use the loop as a handhold - but That Bitch we had for Phys Ed said that was "cheating" and gave me a 4 for the test and an E for attitude for cheating.

The last time I saw her, she tried to get all cozy with me. I informed her that maybe she's old enough to have Alzheimer's but I'm not, I remember every single bit of her sadism thank you much :mad:

BetsQ
11-08-2010, 10:33 AM
I still have a scar from rope-climbing in first grade (in 1979). I climbed up to the ceiling with no problem, then slid down. I got a nasty rope burn on my shin, from where I had the rope wrapped around my leg. It was seriously gross when it got infected.

Chopper9760
11-08-2010, 10:52 AM
We did it elementary through middle school, I don't think the high school had any ropes.

We all thought we were badass because in elementary school the rope was knotted every 2 feet or so and we could all climb like monkeys. No knots in middle school :( I'd say only 10% of the class could climb to the top then.

I never mastered the foot work, I'd get three good pulls in with arms alone and be completely out of gas.

Annie-Xmas
11-08-2010, 11:02 AM
I failed everything about gym class, including rope climbing. It was later discovered I had minimal eye-hand coordiantion.

BMalion
11-08-2010, 11:31 AM
Yes.

it was one of the only things i was good at as a youngster. I sucked until i fianally grasped the idea of using my legs, then I could shimmy up faster than a monkey. it was fun to be a total geek with no sports ability and big glasses and be better at one gym-thing than most of the "jocks".

Then I found martial arts and there was no going back. :p

lieu
11-08-2010, 11:51 AM
Yeah, I always enjoyed doing that, guess I had the right build.

What was amusing though was after college when I went with an attorney friend to his posh workout club in downtown Ft. Worth. They had a rope there that went through a hole in the 2nd floor to the ceiling above. We were working out and I grabbed the rope and started climbing. So I'm going up and up and all of a sudden I'm surrounded by a bunch of diners on the second floor. It was the restaurant and all these people are eating and here comes this guy climbing through up to the roof. They were all looking at me but what could I do? So I just kept climbing, tried to climb in a manner preventing any of my junk from flashing anyone, tapped the roof when I got there and then lowered myself back down through the hole and to the floor below.

We went to the restaurant later. One of the chefs saw me and said "Ya know, I've been here 5 years and I've never seen anyone do that before. Heh, well, what the hell... when you climb a rope you go to the roof, lunch crowd or not.

BobArrgh
11-08-2010, 01:28 PM
High school in Indonesia, 1970s. We had 3-4 ropes that we had to climb, sometimes racing. The worst part was coming back down and having the huge knot at the end whip up and smack the 'nads during the dismount.

Arnold Winkelried
11-08-2010, 02:47 PM
In Switzerland, we would climb long metal poles. The poles could be inclinced so that they were in a vertical position, or slightly inclined (easier to climb thenm when they were inclined.) There would be several poles next to each other and you would race. Has any one else ever seen this?
Photo:
Swiss kids climbing the "perches" (French word for the poles) in 2005 (http://www.avg-wtv.ch/cpg_avg/displayimage.php?album=4&pos=1)

Arnold Winkelried
11-08-2010, 02:55 PM
I missed page 2, I see that Jragon mentions climbing poles in post # 54 of this thread.

JohnT
11-08-2010, 02:55 PM
I never did

is it just a TV cliche

Yes.

Epic fail.

AppallingGael
11-08-2010, 03:08 PM
We had to climb it at my NYC high school, early 1980s. I managed it, though probably in the slowest time of anyone who did reach the top.

FallenAngel
11-08-2010, 06:07 PM
We did it in gym class in the mid-80s. Ours, at least, were knotted every 3 feet or so. That made it easier but you still couldn't use your feet. Myself and four or five other kids managed to do it.

Siam Sam
11-08-2010, 10:28 PM
In addition to the rope, we had the peg board. Fastened to the wall, it had, I think, 16 holes and two pegs. You had to climb up by inserting each peg into the hole above, go lateral upon reaching the top, then back down. I couldn't do that one either.

Sleel
11-09-2010, 02:09 AM
Yep, we did rope climbing. This was in the late 80s. I had a rope swing as a kid and figured out how to leg wrap on my own pretty early on. Plus, at that point I was still doing gymnastics off and on. That big thick rope was easy compared to the thumb-width ones I used to climb.

Thicker mats down at the bottom arenít actually much safer. Sure, if you actually fall catastrophically, a crash pad might help, but youíd dramatically increase the chances of twisting an ankle from a moderate to low height. And thereís always the false-safety factor to consider. Someone thinks itís okay to drop from a higher height and screws themselves up because they think that padding cancels out kinetic energy. Hint: it doesnít. A relatively thin (usually 4Ė6 inches) moderately stiff pad is a compromise between the gym floor (because, ow!) and an unstable landing surface like an 18 inch crash pad.

Someone asked earlier if rope climbing is any good for conditioning. Yes, itís mainly a test of upper body and core strength if you donít wrap with your legs. Otherwise, itís an overall conditioning exercise, similar to rowing. It doesnít take much actual strength if you have good technique. There are a couple styles of wrap I know, that have varying levels of security. One is so secure that you can actually lock off your feet and let go; just hook an elbow around the rope to keep your upper body over your feet.

They should teach technique in PE classes, but they probably donít. Iíve come to the conclusion that practically no one in education has any fucking clue as to what theyíre doing when it comes to physical fitness. The current fitness guidelines shown in an earlier link are practically useless as either a training or screening protocol.

cochrane
11-09-2010, 10:40 AM
We had to. It was a regular part of my gym classes in high school, maybe about once a week. It wasn't mandatory to make it all the way to the top, but we were "encouraged" to give it our best shot (by a gym coach who might have been the inspiration for Mr. Buzzcut from "Beavis and Butt-Head"). I usually climbed the rope about as well as Les Moore from "Funky Winkerbean," but I remember one glorious day when I did make it all the way up and back down again. I never made it all the way again.

Ura-Maru
11-09-2010, 04:59 PM
I did it a couple of times, late in elementary or early in high-school, I donít recall

By which I mean I tried as required, and jerked around on the end of the rope like bait for some kind of giant, chunky-geek-eating fish. Never made it up more than a foot or so. Not as painful as dodgeball, in that the other kids only threw non-bruising contempt at your face, but not one of my better childhood memories.

--
I never held the ropes responsible, of course, though it would be years until I discovered all the fun options inherent in them.

cochrane
11-09-2010, 06:20 PM
Yeah, I always enjoyed doing that, guess I had the right build.

What was amusing though was after college when I went with an attorney friend to his posh workout club in downtown Ft. Worth. They had a rope there that went through a hole in the 2nd floor to the ceiling above. We were working out and I grabbed the rope and started climbing. So I'm going up and up and all of a sudden I'm surrounded by a bunch of diners on the second floor. It was the restaurant and all these people are eating and here comes this guy climbing through up to the roof. They were all looking at me but what could I do? So I just kept climbing, tried to climb in a manner preventing any of my junk from flashing anyone, tapped the roof when I got there and then lowered myself back down through the hole and to the floor below.

We went to the restaurant later. One of the chefs saw me and said "Ya know, I've been here 5 years and I've never seen anyone do that before. Heh, well, what the hell... when you climb a rope you go to the roof, lunch crowd or not.I'm surprised the restaurant didn't comp your meal. Especially since you were so nonchalant.

"Yes, ladies and gentlemen, all part of the show. I'll be here for two shows daily, Thursday through Sunday. Please try the fish and make sure to tip your waiter." :D

jasonh300
11-09-2010, 08:58 PM
I'd sometimes have an involuntary orgasm when climbing.

Wait...what?????

Dangerosa
11-09-2010, 09:50 PM
Is it still done in this day and age? Seems like it would be a lawsuit waiting to happen.

My kids have to do it. Most gym activities are lawsuits waiting to happen - nothing terribly unique about rope climbing except perhaps you are more likely to fall to break a bone than trip, or get a ball to the head. My kids also have to be able to RUN a mile - starting in Kindergarten. They work their way up.

lindsaybluth
11-09-2010, 10:15 PM
Two weeks ago my little brother tripped over his almost size 13 feet, fell and hit his head off of a radiator in the stairwell. My mom listened to his symptoms and decided he didn't have to go to the ER; she had a fax a form to his school saying that she declined them taking him to the ER.

But yes, most gym activities are accidents waiting to happen. Kids need all the activity they can get though; unless they do an after school sport they aren't getting enough exercise. In high school we had to run around cones and pivot 90 degrees - it's a miracle an ACL or a meniscus wasn't torn every single day.

Clothahump
11-09-2010, 10:25 PM
Senior year in high school. We had a bell at the top of the rope that we were supposed to ring. I got so good at it that I rang the bell every day of the week my second semester.

I haven't climbed a rope since. And I haven't been in that good shape since, either.

control-z
11-10-2010, 11:54 AM
We had a big rope going way up, but I never got the chance to climb it. I wanted to, I think I could do it arms-only. I heard other gym classes at the school climbed it though.