Before my encounter with rock climbing this was me:
All sass and no muscle, annoyed by itchy grass, untamed hair, stale cotton shirts, prickly clothes tags, and sweat. 18 years later, this is still me. Only, now I understand that there is boundlessly more to focus on than the dirt under my fingernails.
Too often children grow up believing they are separate from nature. I was one of these. Even though I was fortunate enough to enjoy time at parks near my home in Boise, ID and an occasional camping trip in the mountains, through much of my childhood and adolescence I learned how to ignore the earth beneath my feet.
Climbing and writing about the outdoors have allowed me to better understand raw beauty and pain, progress and frustration, and given me strength and understanding to move through whatever life delivers. All I must do is focus on the quartzite crystals beneath my toes, the paper beneath my pen, keep my gaze ahead and move.
Whether you have learned to love dirt yet, or not, just know it’s out there, ready for you. I encourage you to go out and find some rocks, some rivers, some soil to surround yourself with, because outside is your best side.