See that?! That’s my pride and joy! That’s my 12-year old son Julian, competing in the 14th Annual Seattle Bouldering Challenge (SBC) at the Stone Gardens Climbing Gym in Seattle.
Hundreds of climbers competed in the event this past Saturday, and Julian came in 6th out of 36 in his division. He’s been rock climbing for years now, but only joined the climbing team at the Whatcom YMCA about six months ago.
For those not in the know, bouldering consists of climbing challenging routes, called problems, without a harness and rope, using a crash pad for safety. In climbing gyms, the routes/problems consist of a series of holds marked with colored tape. The problems in the SBC were given point values, from easy to difficult, and each climber wandered around attempting the problems, trying to earn as many points as possible. They got 5 attempts at a given problem, and only earned the points if they completed it by reaching the end point in total control, with both hands on the last hold, having used only the holds marked for that problem.
In the photo here, you can see Julian making a big reach, not easy to do, requiring a lot of hand, wrist, and arm strength. He is so into the sport these days that, in addition to rigorous team practices twice a week, two hours a pop, he regularly spends time in his room doing even more conditioning: push-ups, crunches, pull-ups, etc.
The most satisfying thing a parent can experience, I think, is when you see that your child is passionate about something positive, internally motivated to learn, progress, and achieve. It seems to stem from and builds a level of self-confidence that really helps a person in life.
I’m so excited to see where this takes him.