5 Things I Learned By Rock Climbing
Start writing a post

5 Things I Learned By Rock Climbing

It is more than a sport. It lends itself to being able to be part of a community and learn important life lessons.

5 Things I Learned By Rock Climbing
Joanna Lam (who is the best!)

It started with one introduction to top rope course with a guy that I thought I was going to spend the rest of my life with. This sounds like such an awful way to start an uplifting article, but if life had taught me anything it was that the best things in life start out in the strangest ways. Rock climbing was something I thought I would never take up given my irrational fear of heights and fear of falling. I re-visited the idea of rock climbing with a friend a year later and found that there was something that wanted me to come back to try again. Even though it has been less than a year since I have started up, I still find it just as thrilling as I did when I first started.

1. I am more capable than I think I am.

From the time I started climbing, I learned that there are several different ways to send a bouldering or top rope route whether it be through strength or technique. My first approach to climbing was that I am not able to do more than the basic routes for beginners. When I am up there on a top rope course or so close to sending a bouldering route, I swallow the little bit of fear of making the wrong move and just stand up and keep going.

In life, taking that leap of faith and swallowing the little bit of fear that screams to do the more common sense thing makes thing most worthwhile.

2. I need to let go to reach the next level. 

In climbing, there will be a a point in time that you will not see the next holds to use to move up. No matter how far you plan ahead or beta your way through it, there is something that will be unexpected that could potentially bring you down. But the next best move is to reach up and stand on your legs and you'll see a whole host of holds and options ahead of you.

In life, when you ever reach rock bottom and you feel like there are no options, all you have to do is simply stand. Easier said than done but it is worth it when you can finally see all of the possibilities in front of you.

3. If I am a tad bit more confident, I can make even the hardest climbs possible. 

A part of me is still slightly terrified of trying to climb the harder routes because I have a fear of falling. My good days when I climb, I send every route with ease but on my bad days I feel like I make zero progress because I am less confident in my abilities. But the days that I forget about all of that, I realize I can really do it. And I'm always surprised by that.

In life, confidence is a just a sweet icing on top of hard work and dedication and an ounce of confidence makes anyone able to anything they want to. The sky is the limit.

4. If I conserve my energy, I can be very successful. 

The key in climbing is to send routes without expending tons of energy. It isn't about how fast you can send it but literally conserving your energy to make it to the top and keep on going (aka do NOT T-rex on the climb). The best climbers utilize their feet more than their arms and are smooth with all of their movements which reduces the need to expend excess energy.

In life, some things are not worth expending energy on. Things happen that make us freak out to the point of no return but when the crisis passes and we look back on it, we wonder why we wasted so much time on it. Maybe we would be better off without expending energy on things that may not matter in the end.

5. I can fall but it doesn't mean that I failed.

Climbers tell each other that if you are not falling then you are not really trying. For those that have a fear of falling can be held back if they don't give into. Once I gave into my fear of heights and falling did I realize I have the ability to get back up and try again and again. When I first started climbing seriously, I didn't want to fall at all. I was scared to make moves that were questionable because I hated falling and falling in front of others. But as I met other climbers and climbed with friends, I got over it quickly and was much more successful.

In life, sometimes the scariest thing is to get over yourself. You are the biggest detriment sometimes to your own success and giving yourself space to make mistakes helps immensely to move forward.

Climbing for me has transformed from a hobby to a way of life that makes me realize that I really can do anything if I put my mind to it. Fears and self beliefs are secondary to making dreams come true. I can't wait to see what the rest of my first year of climbing looks like.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Student Life

College 101: How To Ease The Back To School Blues

Getting back into the school groove when you just can't seem to let go of summer.

Beyond The States

With fall classes just beginning, many of us find ourselves struck with summer withdrawals. Especially for those who refrained from taking courses over the summer, it can be quite difficult to get back in the swing of things. Fortunately, there are various ways to help make the transition back to college as smooth as possible.

Keep Reading... Show less
Dating Apps

We Met At A Bar

Salvage what you can; if you can't, it's alright to walk away.

We Met At A Bar
Anne Waldon

We met at a bar.

Keep Reading... Show less

The Mets And Me

They may be the worst sometimes, but this baseball team has given me more than I could ask for.

Rich Schultz/Getty Images

On September 3rd, 2001, a sea of children littered my home's navy-carpeted den to watch baseball during my dad's 40th birthday extravaganza. A baseball game flickered on the TV, and a red and blue bubble of a scoreboard sat in the bottom right corner of the screen. The New York Mets and the Philadelphia Phillies were in a wild game at Veterans' Stadium. As I, a five-year-old boy with a jumble of curly blonde hair, sat in the back of the kid clump, I wondered which team I should root for. After a long debate with myself, I decided that I should root for the team that's winning (duh). But, as the ninth inning rolled around with the Phils maintaining a 7-5 lead, some magic occurred. The Mets put up five runs in one frame, stunning the Phillie fans in the room and winning the game 10-7.

Keep Reading... Show less

Which BTS Member You Are Based On Your Star Sign

If you love BTS, I'm sure you relate to one or many of them in several ways. This star test will help you learn more about which member you are most connected to.

Which BTS Member You Are Based On Your Star Sign

Astrological signs tell a lot about a person. Do you ever wonder what your BTS bias star sign is? Is it the same as yours, or or are you more like one of the other amazing members? Take a look and find out what yours (and the members of Bangtan) says about you.

Keep Reading... Show less

Hittin' the Road Playlist

With the end of August approaching more quickly than many of us would like, the preparation for school is happening in more ways than just one.


The car is all packed. The money you saved (and didn't spend online) from your summer internship is secured quietly in your bank account. The immediate reunion with your long-distance college friends is set. The real question on everyone's minds is: do you have the perfect melody to jam to as you journey back to school? 

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments