Rewind: A Life Without Climbing?

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Don Lauria

Trad climber
Bishop, CA
Feb 7, 2013 - 06:09pm PT
I guess I'm one of the few.

I was a team sport enthusiast the first 30 years of my life. I played baseball and football in high school and in college and even continued to play football every year in my college alumni game until my 32nd birthday. Still love those years and still follow those sports, BUT then I discovered rock climbing in September of 1961 and my life changed forever. I was 29 years old. I played in the alumni game for the last time in 1964 and that was the end of team sports for me - climbing had become my life.

Within a year I was climbing in Yosemite and doing serious mountaineering routes in the Sierra, the Tetons , and the Wind Rivers.

I've posted in other threads and described how "the original Vulgarian" got me into climbing, so I'll just leave it there.

Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 7, 2013 - 08:19pm PT
Mugs Stump and Bob Carmichael both played football.
You know, just for the record.

Thanks for posting up Don!
mooser

Trad climber
seattle
Feb 9, 2013 - 07:19pm PT
Regarding the "team sport" types, versus those who were not: for me, it was probably partly a way of thumbing my nose at sports I was never particularly good at anyway, and developing a certain prowess that even the most fit and successful team sport person couldn't begin to do. Immature? Yeah. Cathartic? Yeah. :-)
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 10, 2013 - 09:08am PT
(mooser: yes, the aspirational misfit card ... having played it, I'm familiar. shhhhh. It'll be our secret.)
cowpoke

climber
Feb 10, 2013 - 09:55am PT
The more i think about the individualistic aspect of this question, the more i am convinced that it isnt, for me, individualism per se, but the interaction of individualism and being in the wild. As a kid, I liked team sports (and don't dislike them today), particularly football. And, most individual sports are not my thing, e.g., golf. But being "alone" with nature to challenge myself = self actualized.
mooser

Trad climber
seattle
Feb 10, 2013 - 11:34am PT
(mooser: yes, the aspirational misfit card ... having played it, I'm familiar. shhhhh. It'll be our secret.)

Mum's the word...
TWP

Trad climber
Mancos, CO
Feb 11, 2013 - 09:52pm PT
A life without climbing?

Boring!

No transition sports prior to climbing. Just from the suburban couch to outdoors and rock. I entered this domain for psychic reasons. I wanted to do wondrous, impossible things, far from the ordinary. It had to be individualistic, not a team endeavor. I went to Colorado Outward Bound as a 16 year old and admired the instructors tremendously. My instructor was John Evans (Humingbird Ridge, Mt. Logan; first ascents in Antarctica and Yosemite). I found my greatest inspiration to enter the world of climbing from reading about the American ascent of Everest's West Ridge by Unsoeld and Horbein in 1963. Kind of an eggheaded point of entry as opposed to motocross dirt biking or other high risk activity transitioning into climbing.
SteveW

Trad climber
The state of confusion
Feb 11, 2013 - 10:42pm PT
You finally roped me in, Tar. . .
I risked things early as a kid--slid down staircases in a box (ouch)!
climbed up steep dirt piles, just things kids do. . .

I played team sports as a kid--baseball, football a bit--too small,
then soccer, which I did well at. But I was kind of a loner--loved to
be outdoors by myself, hiking, just enjoying being outside. I'd visited Colorado as a teen and had seen climbers--those people are nuts, I thought.
A few short years later, trying to find some other friends to backpack with, I went to a class "backpacking and mountaineering". . . wasn't much about
backpacking, but it got me started -- and though it was kind of a slow,
rocky start, it just kept going, and still does.
T Hocking

Trad climber
Redding, Ca
May 1, 2013 - 05:11pm PT
Bump for another cool Roy thread!
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