David Wetmore contributes to our “Why I…” blog series, and talks about his introduction to climbing. It involves plywood and duct tape. That’s our kind of story.
Why do I climb? This question is extremely complicated and covers a vast array of unanswered variables I have yet to understand. Over the past 14 years of my climbing career, I have climbed around the world in places like Spain, Australia, and Italy, competed in national events all across the country, and have only just begun to dive into the labyrinth of possibility that climbing has to offer.
It all began at the Boston Rock Gym, in Woburn, MA, at the age of 1o. After my first visit, I was hooked like an addict is on drugs. Seriously. As soon as I got home, I constructed a make shift pair of climbing shoes by cutting the spikes out of old soccer cleats and duck-taping the front toe box for “added friction”—which makes absolutely no sense at all in retrospect due to the fact that duck-tape provides the opposite of friction. In either case, I simply refused to wait and save money for a real pair of climbing shoes.
My obsessive compulsivity—a major role in why I climb today at the level I do today—also led me to build my own indoor rock climbing gym inside my family’s barn at the age of 13. I saved up some dough, bought a ton of plywood and two-by-fours, cut the upper floor straight out of the barn, and built over 20 differently angled walls with over 1,000 gridded t‑nuts and 200 plastic climbing holds ordered online. This marked the beginning of my insanity. I trained almost every day from here on out (I literally haven’t taken over one month off since this construction and each time I have it has been the result of a climbing related surgery). It didn’t matter if I was sick, alone, cold, hot, tired, or sore—each day was a training day.
I’ll never know what clicked, but something surely did. The feeling of weightlessness while moving vertically is incomparable to any other. And it is the satisfaction I derive from complete and utter commitment to one single aspect of my life—climbing—that is truly unparalleled. To me, the greatest achievements come with the greatest degree of sacrifice and dedication. Climbing has given me this infinite cycle of challenge, failure, and subsequent success. I don’t know what I would do without it. (Read: Drink and eat excessively)
On a less romantic and existential level, it’s quite simpler than all that garbage. Climbing is super fun. You meet amazing people. See ridiculous places. And sometimes risk it all for moments that last a lifetime.
It also keeps me fit for the ladies, which is equally—if not more so—important.
I am 24-years-old now; a sponsored climber, head coach and setter at MetroRock in Everett, MA, freelance journalist, and was just added on to an already booming enterprise of climbing media entrepreneurs at LouderThan11. For much more entertainment, check out our vision, past adventures, and future exploits at davewetmore.louderthan11.com.