Life lessons learned from rock climbing
- April 22, 2016
- Last Updated: January 22, 2023
- 20 Comments
I like saving the fun-ish type posts for later in the week. And, that being said, I’m reverting back to talking about rock climbing after my adventure a few weeks ago! Oh my gosh, I’m in love, even though I look like I just woke up in this picture.
The rock climbing experience is so exhilarating; physically, mentally and emotionally. I love taking things I learned from experiences and tying them into the larger life perspective. So while I’m using some of these aspects as metaphors for life, they could carry over into other forms of exercise too – all the more reason to be active and support your health, right?
Obviously, rock climbing is an extreme physical workout. You’re working your fingers and forearms, your entire core, and your legs, glutes, thighs and calves. Actually, rather than listing muscle groups and body parts, it’s easier to think that it just works your entire body, because it really does. You learn this in the few days after climbing.
But, I don’t think people realize the benefits of mental strength that climbing provides. You can compare rock climbing to a puzzle, because each “course” is different – whether it be the arrangement of the course you plan on taking, or the size of the holds on the wall. Just as in life, you have to make on-the-go decisions and commit to them. Your brain is way ahead of your body so before you can even realize what you’re thinking, you’re already thrusting your body up, forwards or sideways. I find this when life passes by right before my eyes – before I know it, I have a full schedule, a full calendar, no food prep, and I’m figuring out my next meal on the go. Life moves fast and you adjust.
You’re engaging in problem solving when moving from one spot to another. You learn that your legs are significantly stronger than your arms, and it takes far more strength (and tires you out) to move your body with your arms than legs. In life, I equate this to: don’t put all of your cards into one basket – spread things out, balance your priorities, take help when it’s offered, and take some of the pressure off of others when you can.
You’re going to have to be flexible – you may not be able to stick to your planned course 100% so you may have to be a leader and veer off-course. You have to adapt to the changing landscape and circumstances. What you once saw as an opportunity may no longer be available, and similarly, what seemed to be a closed door may now be open.
[Tweet “Keep looking forward, not back. Life lessons learned from rock climbing”]
Start out small. You’ll quickly gain confidence from conquering the smaller and easier routes, preparing you for your next “promotion” or “performance check-in.” Once you’ve established a resume of things you’ve done, you can prepare yourself to take on more responsibilities and challenges in your next position.
You become pretty determined to make it to the top. And once you reach the top, you’ll try to climb up faster the next time because you inherently want to get better. You’re focused and concentrated on the task at hand, and you’re not willing to give anything less than your best performance.
Climbing also develops trust. You can’t climb alone. Not only is that dangerous, but you need someone securing your rope or tightening it for you. You need to communicate clearly with that person. Though I trusted Ed from the start with my rope (and I’ve trusted him for 8+ years), it took him a few run-through’s to trust me and understand that I wouldn’t let him fall. You can always strengthen your relationship and move forward.
These are just some of the many aspects of rock climbing I can relate to life. What I loved most was the community feel of climbing, and the opportunity to build character and sharpen leadership throughout the journey.
Now, how about some fun things from the week?
Shopping! I love my new mug, wall decor, and workout clothes.
I took my first Skillpop class! They are small group classes with hands-on learning for different topics that local experts and professionals teach. It’s a neat way to learn a new skill. I went to one about blogging last night and look forward to checking out more, especially photography!
Mac ‘n Cheese. Need I say more?
Perfectly roasted sweet potato fries and cheesy chicken
Tofu, brown rice and black bean bowls with guac and chips. When a girl wants Mexican, a girl wants Mexican.
And on the professional level –> new clients and exciting nutrition opportunities coming up!
I love how you made the connection with life. I would love to do rock climbing some day, but in reality, I guess I’m doing rock climbing every day here as I walk through life. <3
Thanks, Emily! You are totally coming across, accomplishing and learning from challenges every single day 🙂
Rock climbing is so much fun! I haven’t gone in forever, but it’s definitely an amazing workout! I love the parallels you drew from it to real life–so true!
Thanks, Farrah! It is so fun!
I love the idea of rock climbing with my husband! Or just in general to challenge myself. I love activities that are fun but also make you work on important things like trust and communication.
It’s definitely a challenging workout and so fun!
My sister is rock climbing in Thailand right now. I am crazy jealous! I need to get out to the facility here. It is a great workout!
That mac looks incredible… I love when they do a good layer of cheese on top.
Oh wow, that is really neat – I’m pretty jealous too! I’m always one for extra extra cheese on my mac.
I love this! So many great lessons! We went to a climbing fun zone a few months ago but I’m hoping to actually go to a rock climbing center soon (we just did some canyoneering in Zion National Park and I realized that rapelling and scrambling are fun but I’d love to learn to climb!)
Wow, I bet canyoneering was a great experience! I hope you get to check out a climbing center soon 🙂
i used to rock climb indoors when i was younger (maybe 12, 13 years old) and was getting really good at it! then all of a sudden one day, i developed this terrifying fear of heights. i would sweat like crazy and constantly feel like i was about to slip. rock climbing is seriously challenging, probably more so mentally than physically. (altho definitely physically as well haha)
I am pretty scared of heights too, so I’m surprised how much I enjoyed it. It kind of pumped me up accomplishing different climbs and I feel like I wasn’t even thinking about the heights. It’s definitely a mental challenge!
This is *rock* solid. (See what I did there?). But really – awesome connections and so much truth. I would think rock climbing would be great practice in living in the moment, because you can’t really plan ahead while standing on the ground. Or if you did try to plan chances are your course will be thrown off and you’ll have to readjust. And a lesson in patience too. You won’t get to the hardest courses without conquering the smaller ones first.
What a workout!!! Geez.
Have a fab weekend rock star.
Haha I love what you did there! You’re so right – it really does help you see the moment you are currently living in.
Rock climbing is sooooo intense- physically and mentally. I am usually worn out after two times going up, lol. I love the metaphor- it is so true in so many ways.
Yay for new clients!! Can’t wait to here how all that is developing now.
It’s definitely more intense than you would think. I was pleasantly surprised!
I’ve never tried rock climbing! It sounds a little scary but fun. What a cute mug! And that mac n cheese looks amazing. Have a great weekend!
I was really scared the first time I got to the top because I didn’t want to look down, but then I got used to it! Hope you had a nice weekend, Lisa!
I loveee rock climbing! Unfortunately for us, the closest rock climbing centre is over an hour away, however, I’ve made Jesse promise me that we can go soon!
I love your mug! Definitely an awesome blogger gift!
You should definitely go soon, it’s so worth it! And it’s my new favorite mug 🙂