Have you ever pushed yourself for something you wanted with all your heart? Or even better, did the thing you were pushing for come to your life through serendipity? I was a very lucky human, to have gotten the thing I wanted, not only did I get it, I am living it every day. It has become my life, my routine, my love. This is what happened when I fell in love with climbing, everything magically fell into place.
I had been pushing myself to get fit and maintain a healthy diet and always failed to do it for more than a month at a stretch for a long time. But now after starting my journey in rock climbing, I finally feel healthy. I don’t have to push myself to do it, it comes naturally. Rock climbing gives me a reason to stay fit and when you have a reason for something you push yourself harder to improve in it.
I was a slim guy till high school, I never had to work out or play any sport to stay so. I was slim and that was my definition of health. I had all the freedom to be lazy thanking my good metabolism. But I started getting fat after school and slowly I realised that I would have to do something about it. One of my friends took me to a gym, and at that moment I realized how boring a place it was. I had no motivation to get fit at that time either and things didn’t work out.
I faced constant trouble in trying to get fit or find the motivation to do so for 10 years. This was until I finally got introduced to rock climbing. That was a day of finding my true self, a real motivation.
In 2021, during a top rope workshop organized by Beyond The Wall in Dehradun, I fell in love with the rocks. During the workshop, I released this was the thing I wanted to do for the rest of my life. Now, for almost two years I have been climbing and I feel the same love about it that I felt on day one. In fact, it was love at first sight and has only been getting deeper every day. Now I don’t push myself to exercise or eat healthily it just comes naturally.
The way I was introduced to rock climbing was a major factor that made me feel the way I do about rock climbing. Beyond the wall has a mindset of not just letting you experience rock climbing but assists you in making you an independent climber. Yash, my instructor made me feel confident about my climbing more than I had ever been confident about anything, and that too on the first day which is quite crazy if you think of it.
Now, after having climbed with Beyond The Wall for almost 2 years, I’m working with them as an instructor and trying to learn their way of introducing climbing to people.
While my life has changed in many different ways just by getting introduced to a sport, sometimes it all feels like a dream. But if you ask me to sum it up I have three-point where I see a major change in my life –
1) I’m happy – As people easily say happiness is a state of mind, reaching that state of mind is hard, and staying in that state is even harder. But I am in that state every time I’m climbing, truly happy away from all the worries of my life. The peace this sport has bought to my life is not easy to explain.
This Happiness comes in stages. Just when I think I am happy and this is the happiest I will ever be, suddenly the next thing I know I am happier. That was the thing I understood, I was happy in my life before climbing but after getting introduced to climbing I was happier. Obviously, there were some issues with my life and there still are, that is how life is but I’m happy now.
It is not a secret that physiology and psychology are linked. When you climb you only have one goal in mind which is to reach the top of the climb, you are focused and enjoying this state of mind which ultimately leads to a state of mind we call happiness.
2) I have made some deep connections – In my opinion, people who take rock climbing as a hobby are genuinely kind people. When you are climbing you trust your belayer with your life and this activity helps you to start a meaningful connection with a complete stranger. This has happened to me many times, I have met some beautiful minds through climbing.
You get to experience and meet people from all walks of life which provides you with different approaches to life. I used to think if you really like something you should push yourself to your limits and achieve it faster than others, but by meeting strong and powerful minds through climbing now I finally understand that everyone grows at their own pace and that is how it should be. ‘The only person you are competing with is the person you see in front of the mirror.’
3) Developed a mindset to stay healthy – As I told you earlier, I always wanted to be fit but didn’t have the motivation to move towards that goal. But by getting introduced to climbing I have a reason to get fit and stay that way. I am conscious of what I eat and how much I eat it now.
When I started climbing, I was easily able to do some beginner-friendly routes but as I started doing some intermediate climbing, I started seeing that I need some physical training to improve my game, and ever since it has been a process. Every time I am at the crag I get to face the reality, the reality of what I need to improve to get better at climbing.
What I want to achieve next in climbing
Climbing has given me more than I have ever wished for, it teaches you skills that are not just related to climbing but are also related to life. Climbing teaches you to stay connected to your true self and teaches you to do things not for others but for yourself.
My next goal is to grow in climbing and learn how to trad climb, also attempt big walls not just in India but all over the world.
Why you should try climbing
I think that climbing is something everyone should try, it helps you to connect to nature and feel every emotion with new intensity. Life is all about figuring out what you don’t want to do and in the process, you will find out the thing you really want to do. In my opinion, the secret to a happy life is to never let that thing go, and enjoy every moment doing that and that is how you will grow as a person.
I have found my true love in climbing and hope you also find yours. All the very best for that.