Denver, Colorado

 

As I watched Diana cling to the side of a sheer cliff I was simultaneously frightened out of my mind and sincerely interested in adding rock climbing to my hobby list. The thrill of climbing is something that looks terrifying for anyone who has never done it, but is the ultimate reward for those who pursue it. Diana and the two guys who joined her the day we went out were overflowing with joy. They were excited from the moment we left home to when they were looking up at the scaling rock to when they had conquered several tough climbs.

I regret to say that the flat-soled shoes I wore for the ascending hike up to the climb were dangerous enough for me. But, I was relieved when we were finally able to watch Diana and her friends scale a rock’s edge past the point of visibility. They would take turns. As one climbed the other two sometimes shouted out where to place the foot or hand. They each moved slowly to calculate every move. I felt alive just watching them which is a feeling I’ve had many times. I try to imagine what it must be like to the person is going through and what it took them to get to where they are. At times, it seemed like the climbers were speaking a different language when they were talking about which climb to do and how to ascend it.

Sometimes you have to come down early. No matter how advanced of a climber you are it only takes one tiny error to come tumbling down. In her interview with us, Diana said that one of the most important things that rock climbing has taught her is how to fail. She has learned how to take on challenges and when to quit them. But, by quitting them she isn’t giving up. Every climb will teach you what you can and cannot do. Climbing shows you what you’re made of and what you have to learn. Even more importantly, though, learning how to take risks while climbing has taught her how to take risks in life too. OK, enough chatter, it’s time to go climbing.

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