By Paige Mcconnell. Outdoor Gear. Published at Friday, March 30th, 2018 - 19:28:25 PM.
Joon Ma Rock Climbing and My Four-Year-Old! Since having my son four years ago, the number of days Ive spent climbing every year has dropped precipitouslyfrom over 100 days at one point to zero. Climbing has always been one of my favorite things to do with my husband, but these days weve substituted playdates and picnics in the park for mountain adventures. Not a bad tradebut still, Ive missed climbing. Living in New York City and working a demanding job made me appreciate all the things it has to offer: the beauty, the companionship, the physical effort, the mental challengeeven the fear. Raising my son, I looked forward to a time when I could introduce him to the cliffs, once he was old enough.
however, there are some people who do not find indoor rock climbing to be a very suitable means of learning how to climb rocks and in fact, they find fault with the indoor aspect of the training criticizing it by saying that there is really nothing better than practicing under the blue skies where climbers can get to feel and breathe the real thing.
There is a moment at the start of any climb when the mood shifts. The drive and the hike in can be casual and chatty, but then comes the time to get on the rock, and the climbing begins. We arranged the gear and my husband, David, started up the cliff to set the belay. After he reached the top and set the anchor, I clipped the rope to Masons harness, tied myself in a few feet below him, and we headed up. With my husbands belay carefully set within eyesight up the cliff and me a few feet below him, Mason started up. He hesitated, a little scared, and balked. For a moment, I wondered whether Masonmy shy and cautious little boywould have the courage to continue. But with some encouragement, he pushed through his fear and made his first move. Then anotherand anothergrowing more confident as he learned to scan the rock and find the best hand and footholds. Before I knew it, we were halfway up the cliff and I was hurrying to keep up with him. By the time he got to the crux move (the hardest move on the route), he had a smile on his face. We made the belay with hugs and delight. Mason couldnt have been happier. At the top of the cliff, we settled in to enjoy a picnic at the top of the world. It was a brilliant moment and the proud, ear-to-ear smile on my quiet boys face was unforgettable.
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