Why I Rock Climb

To be effective in maintaining a regular exercise routine, you need to have two things:

  1. An activity or several activities that you enjoy doing that combines resistance training and cardiovascular endurance.
  2. A support network to keep you accountable and push you to keep up with your exercise schedule.

For me, rock climbing is my exercise.

A few of my friends got me into it and in turn, I did the same for my friends. Together, we make an awesome team where we have fun and push each other to go a little further with some friendly competition.

When I first started, I didn’t think I was very good. I could barely do a 5.7 without feeling a little nauseous and I had to stop halfway because I was clinging to the holds so tightly. But over time, I learned to relax and let go…to give in to my body’s natural inclination to climb. Plus I picked up some tips from the oldtimers at the rock gym.

You have to leave all the excess baggage and weight at the bottom of the mountain or you’ll never get to the top. Sometimes, it’s the emotional roadblock of “I can’t” that stops you from reaching the end. But you can push through it and you can do more than you think.

I used to think that rock climbing required a lot of strength…it does, but not in that bodybuilding –“I’m gonna deadlift 300 lbs” kind of way. You have to know your body well, to know how it reacts when you turn and twist one direction and how it can re-center itself if you lean too far in the other.

Rock climbing allows me to communicate and listen to my body…to understand how the muscles are moving and how my joints can pivot in one direction but not another. To be a better rock climber is to be a better body listener.

When I’m climbing, everything sort of fades away and it’s just me, my muscles, and the rock. I get into the zone and I just sort of do what my body tells me to do and go where my body tells me to go. Sometimes I have to train my body to accept certain limitations, but I know I can always do more…push myself a little further…and get a little higher.

I love rock climbing because each climb pushes me to keep going. Each time I go, I want to do better. There’s so much room to grow, I can’t wait to see where my peak will be.

This is why I rock climb.

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