Towards the end of my final year in university I noticed myself becoming increasingly restless and unhappy. I decided to get outdoors more and made efforts to get involved with my school’s outdoor program. When I found out there was an outdoor climbing day trip offered in Castle Rock State Park, I signed up without a second thought. It’s important to note that I had NO climbing experience at this time. The last time I climbed was at a small bouldering gym in my hometown, and I was sore for two weeks afterward. But I had never done outdoor climbing and figured this was the perfect opportunity to try something new.
I can’t say I enjoyed it at first, in all honesty. The workout was good, but my legs were uncontrollably shaky, and on my way up I was reminded of my major fear of heights. After making it to the top (an accomplishment in itself, as I did not expect to make it more than halfway), I could barely look at the beautiful view because of my fright.
Yet I found myself climbing again this past month at Schultz’s Ridge in Yosemite with a rock climbing group I found on Meetup.com. What prompted me to sign up after not really loving outdoor climbing the first time? I wish I could tell you…but I seriously have no idea.
This time around, toprope was a lot more fun (and signficantly more challenging). After multiple attempts to climb over a challenging bit, I finally had to call it quits. But I’m determined to return to this climbing spot when I’m in better physical shape (haha) to conquer this! And since this trip, I’ve been climbing more frequently…I love the workout and peace of mind it brings me!
(In other news, how cute is my rasta chalk bag?)
How climbing will change you:
- It’s a workout like no other.
- It’s an excuse to socialize. Most of the time when you go climbing with a group, you’ll be cheering others on and getting to know fun, genuine outdoorsy people.
- It gets you thinking in different ways.
- It challenges you to face your fears.
- It teaches you trust.
- It gives you a new type of respect for nature. There’s something beautiful about not only looking at a rock, but interacting with it–you essentially become one with it as you learn its curves and crevices and work your way up it in unity with its shape.