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.
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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!

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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.

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

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