16-year-old Megan just won 4th in the World Cup, and writes her thoughts about climbing.
Over the past couple weeks I have put a lot of though into rock climbing as both a sport and a community. It is one of the fastest growing sports of this time. If you are looking for a good new sport to try, climbing is a great choice for many reasons. Climbing is a sport full of fun, problem solving, and new opportunities. I began going to the climbing gym at the age of two with my family. It has always been a place for me to hang out with friends, family and meet new people. The community of climbers is unlike any other. It’s at climbing areas and gyms that people of all types, interests and personalities come together and support one another. The people of my gym have certainly helped me become the person and climber I am today. Climbing has become a place that my family and I can share and learn together.
Climbing is set apart from many sports in that it truly is a full body workout. Although it may seem like only an upper body sport, it uses the leg and core muscles almost equally or if not more! Brainpower is also much needed to climb. Remembering climb sequences and figuring out how to get from the start to the finish is my favorite part of climbing. Balance also plays a big role in climbing. I have certainly benefited from this sport by having better focus, memory, planning ahead, and problem solving skills. I climb for fun, and because I like new challenges. Strength seemed to come as a positive side effect of that.
This sport is ever changing and growing. New climbing routes are always being created to help climbers learn new skills and strengths. Whether you are climbing for the first day or years after there is always room to grow and improve. That makes climbing special and different. Climbing never gets boring either. Reaching the top of the wall is a great feeling of accomplishment. Then there is always the motivation of wanting to do the next climbing and the next. Even if you doing make it to the top the first try it is still fun. I always think to my self “well I improved that time, I’m excited to go back and try it tomorrow.” Every new climb provides a small insight and new idea on how to improve. New skills can be transcribed onto other climbs and can help you in more ways than one.
Climbing has given me more opportunities than I can even express. It does not have to be a large life commitment. It can be a fun adventure in a safe and friendly environment! Rock climbing has fun challenges for people of all experiences, strengths, and comfort levels. With many different styles of climbing like sport climbing with a rope, traditional climbing for an adrenaline rush, ice climbing, and bouldering at lower highs without a rope, there is something for everyone to enjoy! Why not give it a try? If you are interested in rock climbing, just find a local gym and they will help you get started!