Anyone that knows me knows that I’ve never been a fan of exercise. Sports have never come naturally, and I’ve never been very coordinated. Most of my friends and family know they’re more likely to find me in bed with Netflix, seeing how fast I can eat an entire bag of chips instead of seeing how fast I can run a mile at the gym. Two months ago, I would have whole-heartedly agreed with them but when I came to school, something changed. Within the first two weeks of being at school, I tried something just for fun. I went with my best friend to go rock climbing at our indoor rock climbing wall. That moment ignited the fire for the love I have for the sport now.
Climbing is great because it’s a full body work out. It’s more than just pulling yourself up with your hands and arms, the true power lies in the legs. The real technique is in using your leg power to move yourself up the wall, and just use your arms and hands for support and stabilization. Climbing doesn’t just improve strength, it also improves flexibility and allows for a greater understanding and connection with your body and the way it moves. In the same way that people rave about yoga allows for a mind and body connection, climbing is the same way. Climbing takes motivation, focus and concentration. You have to work hard at training your body to not just make you move up a wall, but to be a tool in helping you accomplish your goal.
Exercise isn’t the only way that climbing has changed me. Overall I want to take better care of my body. Before, it had been months since I had voluntarily eaten any kind of vegetable because they’re evil and taste like sadness. However, I now want to put food in my body that’s good for me so I can continue to grow in strength. Climbing has shown me the power that my body harnesses, and it has motivated me to eat in a way that is beneficial to my body, and in a way that can help me grow stronger. With the increased amount of exercise I’ve been doing, along with eating right, I don’t just feel the effects in my body, but I also am mentally stronger. I am regularly in a better mood, more motivated, sleeping better, and more self-confident. I also am for the first time in my entire life excited to exercise.
Climbing has also allowed me to meet a whole new group of incredible people. I thought that learning (and loving) to do this with my best friend would just be an activity we would enjoy together, but it’s been quite the opposite. We’ve both met new friends, one of whom we now do all of our climbing with. Before I started climbing, I would have never guessed that there was an entire culture of people who loved do this, but now that I’m in the community, it’s so inspiring to see what kinds of things I can learn and achieve. The best part about having a whole group of people who enjoy the same thing is that they are so motivating and supportive. I know there have been many times where I didn’t think I could get up a wall, or do a climb, but with the advice and support of the others at the wall, I climbed all the way to the top.
It’s been an awesome journey meeting people, getting stronger and loving myself so far. I can’t wait for the incredible experiences and years of climbing. Climb on!