I am a rock climber. Not professional, not competitive – not even particularly good. But a couple of times a week, I grab my gear and head to a wall. If the weather is good, Ryan and I will go bush and look for rocks to hug.
I climb because it is fun, exhilarating, social and cerebral. I’ve never found a physical activity that involves so much mental problem solving. Climbing is seductive because you can return and return to the same route, the same problem, until you nail it. You can talk it through with your belayer, stop, have a coffee and try again. Maybe nobody else will ever climb that wall the same way you did, because everyone has different strengths, different reaches and different technique.
Climbing has changed my body. My feet get squished into climbing shoes, and I’ve developed callusses on my fingers (even my pinky!). I have biceps for the first time in my life and I don’t need help opening pickle jars. Even better than physical changes, climbing has changed the way I view my body and my fitness. I feel strong.
Before my birthday, I sat down to write a list of 101 things to do in the next 1001 days. I’m going to post all of them on here eventually, but I thought I’d start with the climbing goals. Here they are:
- Take part in a bouldering competition
- Get comfortable lead climbing
- Climb Kilimanjaro (impossible? no. improbable? wait and see…)
- 10 chin-ups in one set
- Make time for more climbing outside (real rocks, not the gym)
- Get across the climbing gym ceiling (this one really could be impossible)
I’ll keep you posted.