Before I left Seattle my good friend over at Eat, Climb, Love taught me to climb outdoors. If she didn’t have a life I’d try to climb with her every weekend. Well, actually every day but who wants to sound creepy? She’s gracious and fun, and super talented on the rock. When I get my residential school started I’m DEFINITELY going to try and recruit her to teach. 😉
I’ve wanted to become a bad ass climber for years. In fact, I bought myself a climbing carabiner years ago as a reminder. I used (and still use) it for my keys as a constant reminder to go climbing. I don’t mind climbing indoors. It’s fine. My interests, however, are in outdoor climbing. I don’t want the safety of mats. I don’t want colorful handholds adorned with pretty tape. I want Mother Nature’s knuckles ready to bust me on my head or extend a friendly hand. I want to look down and see her bosom eagerly awaiting my impact. I want to climb mountains like I did trees as a kid. When I’m done with that, I want to mountaineer. Climbing Mt. Kilaminjaro has been on my “Do Before I Die” list since Semester at Sea in 2004.
I am fortunate to have been awarded the NOLS Gateway Partnership Scholarship. It’s helping pay for a 30-day Outdoor Educator Backpacking and Whitewater Canoeing course in Yukon Territory, Canada. This will help me accomplish another of my goals which involves me mastering the art of maneuvering whitewater. It will improve my skills as a practicing educator and enable me to sharpen my water skills. I would love, Love, LOVE to take a NOLS rock climbing course as well. During my search for rock climbing intensives I’ve yet to find a program willing to take me out for 10 or more days a time to focus on my climbing techniques. I’ve even been looking into classes offered at climbing gyms just to get practice. The problem is, I no longer own a car, and any climbing gyms in or near where I live in Georgia are 6-10 miles away. There’s also limited public transportation. I have to walk 4 miles through serpentine suburban roads with no sidewalk to get to a bus stop. It’s complicated and dangerous.
I feel restless because now that I have the time to dedicate to improving my work, I don’t have the resources. If any of you have any ideas as to how I can make any of these things happen please share with me. In the meantime, I’ll keep doing research and keep my fingers crossed that I get the NOLS Southwest Fellowship applied for. There may be an opportunity for me to learn climbing in Arizona, and that’s just badass.