Oh, I knew that pretty much the first time I tried it. In high school and college I was a competitive cross country runner. I also raced XC skiing in high school. Sports were a huge part of my development – I like feeling strong and challenging myself. It also taught me a lot about self-discipline. At the time I started climbing, I hadn’t done anything athletic beyond commuting on bike for years. I had been focused on my career after graduating college, but after about 5 years I was in a major rut. Everything felt stagnant – my relationship, my job, my whole life.
It was my ex’s idea to start climbing and we joined BKB and started getting guided outside (by Paul Curran of Vertical Gains – he’s the best!).
It was like flipping a switch – all of a sudden I was accessing a part of myself I had forgotten existed. I loved going outside, I loved learning about the gear, the knots, building anchors…ok, that part was really fucking scary at first but SO empowering when I looked back and realized how much I’d learned. Climbing has so many parallels to everyday life and it made me understand that I’m not happy unless I’m trying new things and challenging myself.
The climbing community is incredible too. I’ve never met such a diverse group of people who all bond over a shared love. The sport attracts the type of person that I like – driven, athletic, interesting people who still like to party and have a good time.