Reach new heights at Boulder’s Climbing Gym

Mouna Algahaithi, Staff Writer

Climbing at Boulders

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Photo by Alex Caffentzis Deanna Pierce finishes a climb at Boulder's Climbing Gym.

Staring at the “kiddy wall” full of smiley-faced rocks at Boulders Climbing Gym, it was difficult to admit how nervous I was. I was nervous about falling and failing in a room full of cat-like, muscular men and women free climbing these walls with agile fluidity and strength.

With a harness strapped tightly around my thighs, attached to a rope and pulley system guided by my equally inexperienced climbing buddy, Deanna, I began my ascent.

I listened to Natalie, an employee at both the Clarion and Boulders, instructing Deanna on the basics as I cautiously placed my foot on another rock, cautiously avoiding looking down. How had I forgot to mention that I was afraid of heights prior to accepting an assignment like this one?

During my climb, which felt like an hour but only took a minute, I found myself thinking back a year or two. The person I was then would have never agreed to even try rock-climbing. She always allowed the doubts and fears of failing to persuade her from trying anything new.

Yet here I was, climbing boldly, near the top (which, if I may say, seems to high for any 6 year old to accomplish willingly) and all I could feel was strength; the strength of my muscles working together to keep me from falling, to remain balanced and firm, to lift myself from one obstacle to the next, as well as the strength of my mind embedding the idea that you can accomplish anything you set your mind and heart to.

Upon reaching the top, I felt almost liberated, free from the narrow fears that existed in my mind. Climbing the rocks at Boulders wasn’t only about writing an article for the paper, but it was proof that if you ride out the bumps and curves of life, past the aching arms and slipping feet and sweaty palms, victory is waiting for you at the top.

In the words of the author Barry Finlay (who climbed to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro): “Every mountaintop is within reach if you just keep climbing.”

And so I conclude with a question: What would you say yes to if you weren’t afraid?