Ten years ago I moved to Manchester. The only people I knew were my partner and my 2 year old daughter. It was tough to get to know people. Eventually, after 7 years here, I found climbing and now climbing is my Manchester family.
This picture is where I started climbing and became really hooked – it was through meeting three other women at Manchester Climbing Centre Women’s Club – Vicky, Charlotte and Amanda. I don’t think they quite realise what a profound affect their presence has had on my life, but I think this is what happens in the climbing community – people change your life and sometimes they never know.
Climbing has a culture with values, ethics and beliefs that are in the same time zone as mine, but what is it that is SO GREAT about climbing?
I’ve asked a few people on Twitter, Facebook and text and here’s their take:
@snoweider // In a Nutshell; gets me close to nature, and my natural self
@auntysarah // When you’re in the zone it can be almost meditative. The concerns of the world go away and it’s very good for mental health.
@auntysarah // It’s my happy place. I crave the mountains.
@hollyrayfield // There’s always more challenges and something to work on.
@a1pinebutterfly // uuuuhh I don’t know it’s just so much fun!!
Aysha // It’s great for forgetting about problems – nothing concentrates your mind like clinging to a rock face 25 feet in the air … good 4 fitness … like yoga or dancing up a wall … very friendly n sociable x
Michaela // Nature, overcoming your own limits – mentally and physically, spending time with likeminded people, learning something new every time, and loads more that I can’t think of now
James // Likeminded people looking to push themselves mentally and physically. Kinship/kindred spirits.
@womenclimb // The freedom – physical, emotional, cultural. There is something about climbing and the lovely community that gives me a freedom that I don’t get in other parts of my life.
@womenclimb // I can wear what I want, look how I want, train as much as I like, take part as often as I like and to whatever level I like and no-one cares – it’s like a family.
Anisa // I like the fact that every climb is different and climbing is one of the sports that you can really be creative in what you are doing and try new things.
Anisa // I like the fact that when you are on rock you completely switch off from everything. It’s all about the climb and concentrating on your moves. For me it’s freedom.
and finally, my personal favourite from Anisa // I LOVE CLIMBING!!!
So if you’ve never tried it, maybe it’s time to give it a go. If you’re already a climber, let us know why you think it’s so great.