How it started:
For a long time I had been searching for something that would bring me anywhere
near as much happiness as I experienced when I was a child climbing trees. It had been
my absolute favorite thing to do. I had a "treehouse" (a few planks of plywood
and a couple stools I shimmied up the tree and wedged in between branches).
I spent hours in that tree; climbing up and down every branch that stemmed
out almost parallel to the ground from the main trunk, radially, creating layers
of "floors". I could climb the interior of the tree under a canopy of light green
leaves that grew mostly on the outer edges creating a dome-like roof. It was
a solitary and quiet environment, and I loved that about it. The inner confines
of that tree were my sanctuary and although the time I spent in it was incredibly
peaceful, contemplative, and even meditative, the funnest part was the climbing.
I enjoyed the work it took to get to that tranquil space, and it had been something
that was missing in my day to day life. One evening I signed up for and attended a
women's climb night at REI and FELL IN LOVE, and subsequently, became obsessed.
I immediately joined an indoor rock climbing gym, it isn't exactly climbing trees, but it feels the same. All those feelings: the fear, the uncertainty, the air all around me, the shifting of my weight as I balance on points of contact and negotiate with gravity, the sensation of my body being put to use in a physically challenging way, the feeling of putting trust in my body, the feeling that an economy of movement would keep me from falling on my ass; it all came flooding back.
Since I started I've even ventured outdoors on occasion. In the open air the nostalgia becomes acute in its intensity but so does the fear and the sense that you have no choice but to send, this mostly happens on the highballs, but also on moderate climbs that are closer to the ground, until you get used to taking a chance above packed dirt and rock. Just like when you were a kid.
Climbing is heaven. If you haven't tried it, kinda think you should.
Below are some clips from some super fun climbs, indoors and out.