More than just a physical challenge, safe climbing offers a very attractive mental challenge requiring strong focus and determination while confronting a constant fear of gravity. There is, indeed, a tendency within the scientific community to be drawn to climbing which is perhaps best explained in this NY Times article in 2001.
I started to climb recreationally indoors at the Go Vertical gym in Philadelphia, but did not ever venture outdoors until I moved to Oxford, UK where I found myself climbing with the OMC folks at the Brookes Wall, once again, after about a 4-year hiatus.
While not wishing to be the jack of all and master of none, climbing, nonetheless, has evolved into one of my fondest hobbies and it goes without saying that the parallels between running/Kendo and climbing are too many to list…
Link to my UKC Logbook!
“I too have paused many times at a particularly tricky move, hesitated as I tried to bolster my courage, and then stepped up or reached a tiny handhold at full stretch and breathed a sigh of relief. It is the essence of climbing. For an endless moment everything is concentrated on the outcome of one shift in body weight, one calculated decision to move, upon which the outcome of the entire climb – if not your life – is dependent. For an instant you are intensely alive. Good memories of climbs are about these brilliantly intense experiences, milliseconds of movement, confrontations with infinity, breath held until you have won through. I glanced up at the face thinking of Aldi’s fateful step. Sometimes we lose…”
– Joe Simpson, The Beckoning Silence