Climbing For My Son's Sake!

I've been blessed with a never-ending energetic spirited son.  I knew there was something different about my son since birth.  He never stops moving, I mean NEVER and if he does it is because he is really sick.  I think I've only met a handful of kids like him in his three years of life.  Not only does my son have the "fountain of never-ending energy" but he is also very intense in everything he does. Whether he's playing a game, hiking, putting on his shoes, he does everything with every shred of energy and emotion in his little body.

The Reason
Over this past summer, I was becoming a little frustrated and running out of ideas of how to drain his energy other than hiking.  He's starting to learn to ride his bike, but the learning curve is so steep right now that it just leads to a frustrated toddler still full of energy.  I considered swimming classes but it would be only once a week and I needed something to drain his energy now, something he could do right now without having to learn a new skill.  Playgrounds usually ended up with both of my kids crying because they would not want to leave, not being able to play with other kids toys or just "playground politics" (mother's scared of their kids getting dirty, kids not behaving, etc...).  I rather take my kids to Nature's real playground than a regular kid playgrounds.

The Revelation
One Sunday after church, in my frustration and embarrassment of finding him almost to the top of the 10-foot speaker (the service was over thankfully) it finally hit me, he loves to climb!  After I pulled him down from the speaker, I started entertaining the idea of joining our local climbing gym.

It's like those moments in a movie where the main character has flashbacks to all the situations that led them to a giant revelation ala "Sixth Sense", and I remembered every time I found my son climbing something.  In particular, on a trip to Pinnacles National Park my son saw some people climbing for the first time and he asked me what they were doing and I told him that they were rock climbing.  His eyes opened up like it was Christmas morning and he said, "Mommy I want to rock climb!!!" and took running off down the path towards the climbers.

I did some online research as any mom does nowadays and started suggesting the idea to my husband to join City Beach Rock Gym.  It took a little convincing my husband but after a very frustrating day with our son, we headed off to City Beach and my son and I became members!

Results So Far
It's only been three months that we have started climbing and I could see immediate results in my son's behavior.  On our second visit my son was able to make it all the way to the top to ring "The Bell".  That is when something clicked in his brain and that was all the motivation he needed to use every ounce of energy he had to climb.  Some of the few ways his behavior has changed are the following:

Sleeping better at night
Relief of pent of energy
Less sibling fighting
Wanting to eat
Learning to focus his determination

There are other lessons he is learning like learning to fail, waiting and his physical limitations. I too am learning to climb for my son's sake!  Just until last week did my husband and I learned to belay, which opens up much more of the gym to us and I'm pretty sure to say that my husband and I are hooked.  Personally, climbing is something I'm learning for my son but I'm finding real enjoyment in it's physicality and the puzzle-like nature that my "accounting" brain likes.

Future Climbing Family
We do everything as a family, that is part of being a Latino family (well half)....the way we roll! Currently we are beginning climbers, we do not have any of our own climbing gear.  We use the rental gear from City Beach which is fine during this juncture in our climbing life.  We eventually want to do outdoor climbing but not anytime soon because of our inexperience and mostly lack of gear.  Once we feel comfortable with indoor climbing then we will venture in the world of outdoor climbing, which could add a WHOLE new aspect our day hiking and backpacking trips.  Climbing in the outdoors is a new family dream that we will make come true for our little boy one day.

I'm very glad to have a great circle of family-oriented outdoor community that I can go to with all my climbing questions and in general outdoor activities!  You can visit all my recommended outdoor resource page HERE. It's going to be a great ride to learn how to climb but I'm glad our son pushed us into the world of climbing.  Cheers my to little boy!

Related Posts and Links:

  1. Pinnacles National Park
  2. Chasqui Mom's Outdoor Resource Page
  3. City Beach Rock Gym