Sometimes, climbing is just climbing, something we do for fun on the weekends. At its worst, it can become an addiction, as harmful to the climber and their relationships as the abuse of any controlled substance, recklessly pursuing pleasure like a junkie in search of the next high.
But sometimes, climbing is something more. Sometimes, it can change a life.
It can give an inner city kid their first glimpse of something they truly excel at, and the realization that natural ability is a gift that shouldn’t be squandered.
It can give a goofy teenager, who doesn’t fit in on team sports, a life long passion where they are accepted and encouraged to try their best.
It can help a former drug addict feel excitement and joy again, something they once thought was no longer possible outside of their heroin use.
It can be a glimmer of hope in the midst of horrible personal pain, when there seems to be no light at the end of the tunnel.
Because in the midst of a climb, everything fades away but the challenge at hand.
Because the laughter of friends tends to have that effect on people.
Because the beauty of a sunset from a cliff is one of the finer sights you can witness in life.
Because climbing will always teach you that you’re capable of so much more than you give yourself credit for.
Because sometimes, climbing is just climbing. And sometimes, it’s so much more.