The Continuing Adventures…

…Of A 12-year Old (almost 13!) Rock Climber

There’s my boy again!

I’ve written numerous times about Julian’s passion for rock climbing and his membership on the YMCA Youth Climbing Team, and here he is competing this past Saturday at the Vertical World gym in Tacoma.

Julian had a great day with a spectacular finish. His growing edge as a competitive climber is to not give up on problems he doesn’t solve the first time on a route, and he really pushed through in this area Saturday.

He couldn’t make one move, a sizable dyno, on one of the earliest routes he tried, and so he moved on to other routes so that he wouldn’t expend all his energy too early. And yet, a few hours later, when it looked like he only had time for one more route, he returned to the one with the big dyno.

Once again, he attempted the leap up to a hold that didn’t appear to have much to hold on to and he slipped off. However, uncharacteristically, even though he appeared to be spent and done for the day, he immediately returned to the starting hold and began the route again.

This time he nailed it!

It was a thing of beauty, his hanging there by one hand, making a slight, jerky adjustment to make sure that he had a firm enough grip before establishing another handhold and a foothold. I could see the strength in his forearm, the product of hours and hours of training over the last two years on the team, and though I didn’t think he had any fuel left in the tank he was able to proceed with the 3-4 remaining moves in the route, finishing stronger than I’ve ever seen him, pausing at the last hold to take in his accomplishment before jumping down to the matt.

Fatherly pride is a powerful, powerful thing.

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