Many blogs explain how to climb or discuss which beginner routes to climb and where to find them. The internet is packed with explanations of traditional climbing versus sport climbing, free soloing versus free climbing, and why climb rock over ice. All valuable info. But why climb at all?People start because they have friends who climb. Or their significant other climbs on weekends and you want to learn so you can join. Sound familiar? The outdoors, the challenge, the adventure lure us in too. But what if you’re looking at the shoes, at the gear, and maybe at the ledge three pitches up and you’re still wondering why? What many understand only after the first time they go, is that compelling reasons keep your friends going back to the cliff (or the gym, or the mountains). Climbing can become an addiction and there are some innate human senses that are secretly at work.
Photo credit Shaun Hudson
Focus is an important skill to hone, especially as we become surrounded by life’s distractions. When you’re on the wall, you’re focusing on nothing but what you’re doing, one move at a time. You’re looking right in front of you. There’s no room for diversions. That focus infiltrates other areas of your life. Focus gets things done.
You learn to be your own coach. You can do this. You will do this. Keep trying. Keep your focus. Know when to stop. Self-discipline is one of the most difficult things for people to master (at least many people I know struggle with time management, sticking to fitness regimes, and saving resources). The discipline you learn while climbing spreads across and throughout your life.
You build endurance and you feel yourself building strength at that very moment. Talk about satisfying! Often, you’re motivated outside of climbing to do activities that will improve your climbing. You build core strength, you run, you ski, you get your yoga on.
After you achieve a climb, or a move, you get a fantastic sense of achievement! Climbing is very much about setting goals, achieving them, and overcoming obstacles, which can be fear or a physical obstacle. Climbing makes you feel good about yourself.
Climbing can take you all over the world. It’s adventure travel at it’s finest. You’ll really get a feel for (get it?) the place you’re exploring or areas you’re visiting.