January 1st brought in not only the New Year, but also my 12-year climbing anniversary. I can still remember the first day I ever went climbing. It was in a gym on New Years day in Jacksonville, FL. I was a senior in high school and in serious need of some direction in my life. After quitting gymnastics, a sport that consumed ALL of my free time and required 20+ hours a week in the gym, I had a lot of time on my hands. I’ll admit that I didn’t always find the most productive ways to fill it.
Going to the rock climbing gym that day changed my life. The next day, when I couldn’t hold a pencil, open a door, or turn my steering wheel without feeling the pain in my forearms, I knew I’d go back to that gym. And go back I did. I immediately bought a monthly membership, a harness, and a chalk bag and thus began another sport that would consume ALL of my time and change the course of my life.
Twelve years later, here I am in Carbondale, CO reflecting on how this all began. More importantly I’m sitting here looking forward to a New Year, my 13th year of climbing.