Yearly Archives: 2010

Ode to Climbers

I love climbing.

I also love the people who climb. The folks in my climbing circle all seem to feel the same way. Climbers are a unique and fabulous bunch of people. Half of the awesomeness of this thing we do is the community we share it with.

I noticed it first in my home gym. Within a few weeks of getting started I was handed over to a Wednesday climbing group. They took me in with smiles and never once made me feel bad about being a total beginner and barely being able to make it up a 5.7. Always positive, always encouraging, and passionate about life.

Maybe that’s what it is. There’s this passion for life that I don’t see in many other places. These people stand out. They’re the ones with sparkly eyes. They play hard and don’t take themselves, or life, too seriously.

Or maybe it’s a shared experience. Climbing transforms us. Everyone’s story is different, but they are eerily similar as well. Stories of transformation, awakening, and empowerment. Maybe we can sense that in each other.

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First Climbing Comp: Recap

We braved the snowstorm, drove up to Duluth last weekend, and I participated in my first climbing competition ever.  First of many to come, I think.  I loved having a goal to work towards, and I thought the competition itself was interesting and fun!  This was more of a fact-finding mission for me.  I wanted to see what a comp was all about, wanted to see how I would handle the added pressure, and how I would do.  I learned a lot.

Photo: Seth Iverson

Here’s the recap:

What: North Shore Climbing Competition 2010
Where: Vertical Endeavors, Duluth, MN

Rules: 37 routes available, all marked with a set amount of points for completing the first, second, or third attempt.  Routes were not divided into categories, so everyone there could choose from any of the 37 routes, no matter what level they were competing at.  4 hours to climb, top 4 scores counted towards total.  This resulted in some folks scoring alongside folks in higher divisions, so I took that into account when looking at my own results.

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Climbing Partners: Attitude is Everything

On Wednesday morning I packed up my climbing bag and headed off to the gym, not having arranged for a partner, just hoping that I’d have folks to climb with.

This particular Wednesday was a magical day.  Not one, but seven folks that I knew showed up.  All great climbers, all positive folks, and all people who push me to climb better and harder.  Seven fantastic climbing partners.  It was a great group.

When I climb with a good group of people, I climb harder.  I’d love to say that I’m not affected by those around me, but we’re all connected.  It’s just the way it is; we affect one another.  And this group of folks consistently have a really positive effect on my climbing.
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Climbing Love.

New blog, first post.  Goal is to make this about climbing, especially my own experiences, successes, failures, musings, etc.  Lots going on in the brain that would be best served on its own platform.

I’m a 32-yr old female in Minnesota.  I have never been athletic; I tend to run into things.  I stub my toes a lot.  My mother lovingly refers to me as a klutz.  When I run I look like the FTD florist guy (also lovingly pointed out to me by Mom).  Two years ago, at the age of 30, I discovered climbing.  On the wall I feel graceful and strong.  For the first time in my life I’ve found a sport that feels fun and exciting, one that I want to work at and push myself to do better.

Climbing has helped to solidify a personal transformation I had long been working towards.  Plagued by anxiety for most of my 20s, I had already learned the power of my mind and its ability to make fears about things that are not real feel like they are right in front of me.  When I climb I come face to face with my fears.  Fear of heights, fear of falling.  And in order to climb well I need to compartmentalize that fear.  Acknowledge it, assess it, and decide where it belongs.  Most of the time, it belongs in the corner.  I wave at it, say hello, and move forward.

I’ve met some incredibly inspiring people in these short two years.  Women and men who push me to be better, to be stronger, to be true to myself.  They push me to try harder, and I’m constantly surprising myself with what I’m capable of.

Climbing and I… we’re having a bit of a love affair.  I’m constantly trying to figure out how to do more, how to get out more, how to learn more, how to carefully plan my vacation time and save up money to fund my habit.  I’m pretty new in the climbing world.  I have a lot to learn, but I have big plans, and I can’t wait to see them come true.