Ranger Kathryn's Arches

July 30, 2013

On the rock again

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kathryn Colestock-Burke @ 12:12 pm
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Breathing my way through a problem area on "Consolation."

Breathing my way through a problematic move on “Consolation.” (Photo by Dawn Glanc)

Birthdays should be memorable. For my fiftieth, I bought my first pair of running shoes and entered a half marathon. The exhilaration was nothing short of monumental as I crossed the finish line and learned powerful lessons about myself and my limits. I wasted the first half of my life thinking I couldn’t run 13.1 miles, silly me.

Even a smooth-looking wall has tiny ridges you can balance on with rubber climbing shoes. Finding them is the challenge!

Even a smooth-looking wall has tiny ridges you can balance on with rubber climbing shoes. Finding them is the challenge!

Fast-forward to birthday 2013. Fifty-seven isn’t a special number, but there is no good reason to wait for the Big Ones when splurging on oneself because, in case you didn’t notice, life is hurtling at breakneck speed from birth to death.  I’d heard of “Chicks Rock!” climbing clinics for women, and one was happening a couple hundred miles from my home ON my birthday weekend. It was a no-brainer. I signed up.

Take four expert women climbers as guides, add fourteen women from all over the country  — teen-aged to my age, beginner to advanced — mix in some rain, polished quartzite rock, crackling campfires, sprinkle in lots of laughter and encouragement plus a modicum of bruises and scrapes, and you have a mighty fine 72 hours. MIGHTY fine.

Most of you would not find delight in perching on a centimeter-wide lip of rock, groping for invisible hand-holds. But… what if you tried just one new thing today?

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