Rewind: A Life Without Climbing?

Search
Go

Discussion Topic

Return to Forum List
Post a Reply
Messages 101 - 120 of total 136 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
phylp

Trad climber
Millbrae, CA
Feb 4, 2013 - 11:19am PT
This is a great thread and a great question, Tarbuster.

I cannot even imagine what my life would have been like without climbing. In the first place, climbing for me is inextricably linked with my husband of thirty plus years, who was the person to introduce me to climbing. It's hard to imagine the path my life would have taken without him.

Secondly, I didn't know that such a thing as "rock climbing" existed when I met my husband. I grew up in an urban/suburban environment in a large working poor family. We never took vacations so the only natural environment I knew were the New England woods near my house. I loved to walk in them with my dog. Then I went to college and grad school in a city and the only outdoors stuff I did was ride my bike through the city streets to class, and to go for walks along the Charles or at the Arboretum.

Without meeting my husband and without climbing, I probably would have gotten into hiking at some point, but probably only day hikes. I would probably look very different than I do. At 60 now, I'm still pretty fit. I have no willpower and I love to eat but the desire to be able to climb and do approaches and descents has given me enough motivation over the years to keep in some semblance of shape.

And with that - I need to get to the gym!
Thanks for the topic!
Phyl
nutjob

Sport climber
Almost to Hollywood, Baby!
Feb 4, 2013 - 02:22pm PT
Most of my childhood I was one of the last ones left to be picked for teams, along with the obese or mentally deficient kids. Maybe that was a side-effect of moving a lot and always being the new kid. It frustrated me because I thought I had more to offer, though I was continually reminded that others didn't see it that way. By high school I rose to the level of proper mediocrity, captain of the football team (along with the only other 4 players left in 12th grade at my small school) but that was my sporting zenith.

Climbing helped my athletic self-image take a turn for the better. It's not so much that I'm good or even mediocre at it, but that there are relatively few people doing it to perform at a lesser standard than me!

Heh heh I don't spend much time comparing myself to others for athletic ability, but I do have more confidence about my abilities from backpacking, climbing, and outdoor adventures.

Without climbing, hell I would probably be a cubicle monkey chasing the corporate ladder, fairly "successfully" with a growing pot belly and butt to match. Now I'm a work-from-home monkey hanging on the corporate fringe but trying not to get too dirty from it, and enjoying an overall balanced and comfortable life.
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Feb 4, 2013 - 02:29pm PT
Nutjob I've found some of your adventure reports to be truly inspirational.

I mean that.

DMT
mhay

climber
Reno, NV
Feb 4, 2013 - 02:30pm PT
Now I'm a work-from-home monkey hanging on the corporate fringe but trying not to get too dirty from it, and enjoying an overall balanced and comfortable life.

Well played Nutjob. I'm trying to go that route also.
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
Feb 4, 2013 - 04:22pm PT
After reading some of the other very honest answers I decided to post, even though it is nothing I talk about, even to my good friends...


So I was born in the end of 1986 in an area that received a lot of radiation post Chernobyl disaster (which happened in the spring of 1986 I believe). Not sure if it was a cause, but since I was 5 years old I have met MUCH MUCH more doctors than I had friends. I was hospitalized wayyyy more times than I left the town. I had severe asthma and a skin condition (I used to scratch myself till the skin on parts of my hands/legs was literally gone). At one point in time I had weekly blood transfusions because my body was covered with pus filled pimples (arms, legs, back, all over). It would be up and down, better and worse.
When my family moved to USA it got better. The climate here helped me get over my asthma. I started playing sports at a playground but not enough. Through my first 3 years in high school I worked in Dominos Pizza and got free food as a benefit. My diet sucked and by the time I was 16.5, I weighted 300 lbs!

I joined my high school (George Washington in SF) football team in 2003 and lost 40 lbs in a year. We also were undefeated SF champions in m senior year- 2004. After HS I started running, lfting weights, and boxing. 18-23 I would do a lot of boxing, muay thai and weight lifting.
Summer 2009, my boxing coach invited to go up Mt. Shasta. By that time I was 220 lbs of mostly muscle (at 6'2). I used my HS backpack, borrowed sleeping bag, no pad, no crampons, no ice axe- neither of us knew wtf we were doing. It was my first camping trip ever. I got to the summit pinnacle and got down alive because the snow allowed me to glissade. I didn't want to do anything with snow till I started doing peaks in Tahoe in January 2010. Than my friends and I did Whitney in March 2010 where I fell in love with mountaineering. Later I started climbing in the gym and a bit outside. Did a lot of peak bagging in Sierra in 2010 and completed Sierra Challenge (2010). After which I got into trad climbing and fell in love. In 2011 a friend and I did Mt. Denali unguided. A few month ago I did my first onsight 5.10c lead in Yosemite on cracks and a few days ago did my first onsight of a 5.10c face climb at owens river gorge. I love climbing and I hope it keeps my health only improving. It feels unreal to visit some of the places I see and be able to do things I do after not being able to run at all, having transfusions, constant hospital stays etc etc. I mean, running a lap around a track was a big milestone for me at one point. Hell, waking up without wheezing was one of the best mornings of my life. Oh and now I weight 180lbs- 120 lbs less than what I weighted when I was 16.5!

Without climbing I would probably have much more social life than I do now. Would lift weights and talk about what some guy on TV said/did.
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Feb 4, 2013 - 04:47pm PT
^^^ Amazing story, thanks for posting it.

DMT
T Hocking

Trad climber
Redding, Ca
Feb 4, 2013 - 04:56pm PT
+1
Very inspirational story.
Tad
drljefe

climber
El Presidio San Augustin del Tucson
Feb 4, 2013 - 05:26pm PT
You've come a long way vitaliy!
Amazing the personal transformations we can credit to the mountains(and ourselves, really)
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
Feb 4, 2013 - 05:44pm PT
From my Nose in a day TR

Again, it was weird, 35 years before I had first climbed El Cap. I was 18 years old and a senior in High School. Climbing had changed my life back then and here I was, 35 years later, living that changed life. I wondered how it could have turned out differently and couldn’t think of anything.

Now, four years later, same story.
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
Feb 4, 2013 - 05:47pm PT
Vitality, DANG!!!!

Congratulations, good work and keep at it!,
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 4, 2013 - 07:01pm PT
I knew you'd come through with something vital for us Vitaliy.
No pun intended & thanks for posting!
john hansen

climber
Feb 4, 2013 - 07:20pm PT
You gotta figure its gonna be a pretty good story when it starts with,,

"So I was born in the end of 1986 in an area that received a lot of radiation post Chernobyl disaster "
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Feb 4, 2013 - 08:04pm PT
Like many here, I was never particularly athletic and certainly not at team sports. I got into the out of doors because my family had a summer cabin up in the Colorado mountains and I used to go hiking on my days off from working at the local dude ranch. I heard about the fun trips my father and uncles took into the Snowmass Wilderness area on horseback and got invited along only because I promised to do all the cooking. The first Outward Bound school was established just above our cabin and I applied year after year to work there but was told that their institution was too tough for a girl (15 years later they did hire women instructors and I worked for them one summer). My parents stopped going to our cabin in the summers but I continued to work there and live alone in our cabin even though I was only in high school. I also spent Christmas vacations there by myself.

The summer before I went to CU in Boulder I was particularly active at high altitude hiking and arrived in Boulder very fit. My first weekend there I went with the CU Hiking Club to Rocky Mountain National Park, where I met a guy named Joe O'Laughlin who offered to teach me rock climbing. i was scared when trying to rappel and leaned in too far and fell, which was the best thing that ever happened as I learned the belay rope holds and I was never afraid to risk falling after that. About a month after I started climbing I met Layton Kor at a party and the next day we were climbing together in Eldorado. I loved the greater physical challenge that rock climbing provided and being out of doors. It's hard to imagine now but often Layton and I were the only ones climbing on beautiful spring days in Eldorado. I also climbed with Larry Dalke, Pat Ament and Rodger Raubach.

Two years later, I moved to California via a summer in Yosemite thanks to Rodger giving me a ride out, and so in 1965, was the first girl to stay on her own in Camp 4 as a climber not attached to another climber. Later I met and married my husband, Frank Sacherer. A few years later we went to Europe and in the Alps I developed a love of big snow mountains which was only magnified when I went to the Himalayas. My professional career as an anthropologist was made in large part because I was able to survive a year at 12,000 feet in a very remote and primitive Himalayan village. By the time I got there, I had already been toughened up by my mountaineering experiences.

I think I can say that I pretty much owe everything good in my life to mountaineering and the mountains, of which I see rock climbing as only one part. As for danger, I never perceived rock climbing as dangerous. Only two people had been killed during the 1960's ( Jim Baldwin and Jim Madsen) both by preventable errors. Also, fortunately, that era was free of the rock fall that the Valley has suffered in later years. The Alps of course were another story.


Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
Feb 4, 2013 - 10:29pm PT
I knew you'd come through with something vital for us Vitaliy.

I saw your post where you encouraged me to post here, but wasn't sure if I should post, or how much. It actually felt good to share it, it has been sitting in me for a long time. So grateful to my mom and grandma for helping me get through the hell with my health. Now it feels great to try different things and see if I could do something I couldn't even imagine. Climbing helped me a lot. It is like meditation in a way. Another reality, where the past doesn't matter, and the only thing that does is here and now- the moment. It is kind of like going to a place of worship in a way, if that makes sense to anyone...
john hansen

climber
Feb 4, 2013 - 10:35pm PT
Jan, you are a truly positive influence here. Always respect your post's
LilaBiene

Trad climber
Feb 5, 2013 - 06:10am PT
Bump for AWE...
phylp

Trad climber
Millbrae, CA
Feb 5, 2013 - 08:34am PT
Good story, Jan!
mooser

Trad climber
seattle
Feb 5, 2013 - 08:47am PT
Vitaly's story (as many others) is awesome! You always do such great TRs, and to hear your back story is downright inspirational. Thanks for sharing what (if I understood you correctly) you don't often share.

As for me, I always steered away from team sports, except for out in the street in front of my house. I got into climbing in '75 in Poway, CA (I was 17), after watching that Chuck Connors narrated show "Thrill Seekers" (the episode about the filming of the Mike Hoover short, "Solo").

Prior to that, my focus was rodeo. I wanted so badly to be a bull rider. I had a horse (a family horse, actually, but I ended up being the only one who rode), taught myself tons of rope tricks, built a bucking barrel in my backyard, and was pretty obsessed. Once I found climbing, though, the shift was complete. I'm actually glad I never became a bull rider, though it still fascinates me.

I've since added sea kayaking to my list of stuff I do, and love to play in the whirlpool gnar of Deception Pass, etc., but if the sun is shining and the rock is dry...climbing still wins.
10b4me

Boulder climber
Somewhere on 395
Feb 5, 2013 - 08:50am PT
None of this would have happened had it not been for climbing.

Thankfully Chris Mac was into climbing, so he started a website that allowed us to tell are tales
Bad Climber

climber
Feb 5, 2013 - 10:24am PT
Damn, Vitaly. You my new hero. Hope to see you out in the Sierras some day. Keep the faith.

BAd
Messages 101 - 120 of total 136 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
Return to Forum List
Post a Reply
 
Our Guidebooks
Check 'em out!
SuperTopo Guidebooks


Try a free sample topo!

 
SuperTopo on the Web

Review Categories
Recent Trip Report and Articles
Recent Route Beta
Recent Gear Reviews