My husband has always been better at having hobbies than me. As a mom, I feel like if I have free time, it’s mainly spent squeezing in a nap or trying to catch up on chores. We have a shared love of hiking and both went through a running phase, but he has consistently been the more adventurous one when it comes to trying out new activities. Disc golf, soccer, golf, video games, etc. — he’s done it all. I have tried several times throughout our marriage to join him in these various pursuits, but it’s been mainly unsuccessful. I cannot throw a frisbee, golf bores me, and I have never been able to figure out video games. So, when he got into climbing over the past year, I was intrigued, but also pretty positive I wouldn’t like it.
Climbing involves heights, which have never been my favorite. Plus, the thought of getting to the top of a giant wall and just letting go, and trusting (in some cases) a machine to get me down safely, seemed terrifying. Also, I am not a fan of feeling completely out of my element. I am ashamed to admit that I am often guilty of not trying things where I might fail.
Along with my husband, several family members have also started climbing. Thus, a family climbing day was put together while everyone was in town for Thanksgiving. At first, I was content to just let my husband go, but, after some coaxing, I decided to be brave and give it a shot.
I was very lost at first.
I didn’t even know how to correctly put on the harness and I had no idea what I was doing. There is also this whole climbing lingo you have to learn. For most of the day, my husband and brother-in-law sounded like they were speaking a foreign language. I kept having to ask for translations. For example, “I flashed a 5.6 route” is translated to “I completed a climbing route with a 5.6 difficulty rating on the first try.” I learned there are a few options when it comes to climbing. There is top rope which is what I always pictured when I thought of climbing with the harness and rope and the huge wall. And there is also bouldering. I would describe bouldering as climbing and trying not to fall (without a harness) while also trying to solve a puzzle. For that there is even a special way you must learn how to fall.
My whole goal for the day was just to reach the top of the big wall. I am very proud to say I was successful more than once. I will admit though that I was shaking so badly when I got down after my first climb that I could barely walk. The adrenaline rush was amazing though and I had a blast. It might sound cheesy, but I felt so empowered having completed the challenge. I was so thankful I made the choice to go.I think adults often have very few opportunities to try something completely new and moms have very few opportunities to try new things that don’t involve children. Getting to do both was incredible. The bottom line fellow moms is this: we can still be cool and try new things. In fact, I think trying new things that we might even be bad at sets a great example for our kids. We show that we can do hard things and that it’s ok if we fail.