That’s why I climb: views that take my breath away. Mornings spent watching the sun come up over unfamiliar peaks, the clouds nestled below us, after a night of peaceful sleep, with only the thin walls of a tent and the puffy down of my sleeping bag to protect me from the harsh reality of my environment.
I climb for the good times. The perfection of a morning that is the sum of the last day’s exertion and the last night’s rest. The exhilaration of working a project to completion. The calm of a quiet walk to a crag, or the fun of a conversation-filled walk through boulders with friends. The tired, energized hum of a body pushed to exhaustion by physical and mental exertion and moments of perfect, effortless flow upwards… against the forces of gravity and fatigue.
This summer, I am also climbing to benefit Big City Mountaineers, a Boulder Colorado organization that provides outdoor experiences for under-resourced kids. I am not traditionally a summiteer … historically, I’ve been content to spend my time climbing rocks, and I have not yet met a big mountain I felt compelled to get to the top of. This summer, I’m going to have my first date with Mount Rainier, to raise funds for Big City Mountaineers.
Most of all, though, I climb because I can’t imagine my life — right now — any other way. I started climbing a little over five years ago, at a point in my life that looked pretty darn perfect on paper, but during which I actually knew myself very little. Since then, I’ve learned about fear, success, injury, frustration, love and friendship, and quite a lot about my own strength and capability. Climbing has taught me to trust myself and my instincts not just in the mountains and on the rock, but in life. I would not be the woman I am today, were it not for climbing. I marvel, every day, at the depth of love and passion that climbing has brought into all areas of my life.
You can connect with Sara and learn more of her story at RockClimberGirl.com, on Facebook, and on Twitter. If you would like to support her fundraising efforts for Big City Mountaineers, here’s how you can help.