I don’t believe in timing. I think there’s no such thing as timing. I think there is your life in the here and now and you determine what is going to be part of it. There is never a convenient time to sign up for a marathon or move to a new city or start a relationship. You kind of just have to decide to do it one day. Although Mom there would have been a convenient time to buy me a pony. 1996 would have been perfect.
Anyway, I recently decided that I wanted to start climbing. Ski season is over, so there is a small window of time open in my life. It really came down to mountain biking or rock climbing. I downhill mountain biked at Keystone last summer with my friend Jonathan and climbed at Garden of the Gods last spring. I gave them both a shot.
Mountain biking. Thought I was going to die.
In the end, I decided on climbing. My brother is a pretty serious climber, and there’s something just awesome about climbing. It’s like you’re dancing across the face of a mountain. Plus I trail run at a lot of places where people mountain bike, and honestly, I’d rather be trail running. I actually pass mountain bikers on uphills, and I see their faces. It looks terrible.
Since I believe that there’s no such thing as good timing, I decided to just get some climbing shoes and make it happen. After I got the shoes, it was just a matter of getting myself to a climbing gym. I have been trying to get in touch with absolutely anyone that I know that climbs, because, like skiing, it’s not exactly something that you can start doing with no knowledge of the sport. But my schedule is so ridiculous that it has been hard to find a time that works with anyone. So naturally I just decided to go.
I took my shoes and headed to Thrillseekers, deciding to just figure out the rest when I got there. I had no idea what was going to happen when I got there. My plan was basically to show up, tell them I was a beginner climber and ask what I should do. The Thrillseekers folks were awesome, recommending that I start out with some bouldering. The lady walked around and showed me the easy bouldering routes and some places to practice holds.
I did some warm-up routes and then worked on probably five V0 problems. Bouldering problems are rated on a scale starting at V0, and I was basically doing the equivalent of skiing down greens. A girl has got to start somewhere! I completed two of the V0s successfully, and made headway on all the others. And although I only did five of these problems, I was bouldering for like an hour and a half straight, which was pretty exhausting. I met some cool people in the gym too, and this one guy was super helpful and gave me some pointers on my footing. I’m already a believer in the coolness of the climbing community.
Overall, I think I made the right choice by adding climbing to my life. My family is sort of relocating to Virginia this June, and I told my brother that I can’t wait for future visits to go climbing at New River Gorge in West Virginia.
Can’t wait for future adventures with these bad boys!