The First Climb

I thought it was only fair I dedicated my first diary entry to climbing. It was, afterall, the reason I got so into fitness and training.

When I was a child, I never enjoyed sports. I was the kid that sat on the field and preferred to make daisy chains while the baseball rolled passed me. Needless to say, I was never picked first for any team sports.
I didn’t like how the teams’ win or loss could come down to one player. One good decision. Or a bad one. I felt so out of control. Not to mention my poor coordination with ball sports.
This was when I searched for something else. An individual sport. An activity that I could train towards, and have (more) control of the outcome.
The first time I tried climbing, I was 13. It was at an indoor wall, about 15 minutes drive from my house. I wasn’t very strong, but I was light, and relatively agile. I remember just going higher and higher. As I touched the top of the wall, I was already eyeing up the next climb I could try.
The sense of achievement I felt through climbing was memorable. If I placed my foot badly, I would slip off. If I got my hand sequence muddled, I would use more energy and get tired quicker. Yes! Something I could feel in control with!
My parents didn’t love the idea of me climbing. My mother just wished I stayed indoors and studied, and got good grades so I could have a comfy office job. My negotiation skills were well rehearsed, so I struck them up a deal. If I continued to do well in school, my father would drive me to the climbing wall every Monday night. They agreed. Mondays were my favourite day of the week. And, once I was of age, I got my driver’s licence and my own car straight away!

My first outdoor climb: Rapaki Crag, Christchurch, NZ.
So, over the last 13 years I have continued to enjoy pushing my limits in climbing. Through climbing, I was encouraged to learn about how I could train effectively to improve.
That’s why I joined a gym. That’s why I wanted to eat right. That’s why I’m motivated.
And I think because the motivation came from a passionate place, I have stuck with it.
Take Home Note: Find something that you can fully immerse yourself in. Let it be your (healthy) obsession. It doesn’t have to be climbing! It just has to bring you joy.

Team Ascent! My first bouldering trip to Castle Hill, New Zealand (2009)

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