March 22, 2009

Late Bloomers Challenge

Last weekend when I was at the climbing wall with my niece I met an interesting woman. By met, I don't mean we exchanged names, however we chatted. She and her teenage son were there climbing. They just began climbing recently and made the move to buy their own climbing shoes. She told me that it's quite a struggle for her, that she didn't feel like she was in great shape but that it was something she and her son could do together and they had a lot of fun.

While I was belaying my niece she told me she thought it was great that I was passing this on to my daughter so early in life. Naturally I corrected her that I was just the aunt but was excited to share this experience with the little one. She then made reference to how she wish she had started earlier and had the confidence I have.

I was surprised. Shocked really. While climbing a few years now I am still a newbie in the climbing world but the knowledge I had gained was new and exciting to her. So I sat down while my niece had an apple and told her abot my experience. That up until age 27 (5 years ago) I was not an active person. I shared with her the baby steps I took getting into the gym, going hiking, taking climbing classes, and my new goals for running and cycling. She talked with me about the goals she has for her and her son and asked my advice on gear and such. When it came time for me to leave I said goodbye and she thanked me for my time and advice.

The point of basically I was a late bloomer. Sometimes I take it for granted but when I think about it I get very excited that I have made such a change in my life. I challenge everyone to try something new this spring. Whether that means stepping your running up by trying a half marathon or trying out lead climbing for the first time or going for a walk after dinner rather than watching American Idol just try something new. The only thing you have to lose is regretting that you've never tried.

If you don't know where to start check out your local recreation centers. They have amazing classes for kids and adults. Find out what free clinics stores like REI might be having, they're a wonderful resource to get you moving in the right direction. Visit for climbing, hiking, and biking groups. It's a great way to connect with others and have a great time.

My readers, who I consider friends, keep me inspired to keep moving and try new things, I hope I can do the same for you. Get out there!


BoulderDiaries said...

I def know what you are saying! I didn't start climbing until about 4 years ago, at 24. The kicker is I grew up 45 minutes away from Yosemite. FML! I've never been trad climbing, I would love to give it a try this Summer.

Kristine said...

I think this is an awesome challenge. I'm a late bloomer too, didn't really get interested in outdoor stuff until about 3 years ago. I turned 40 this year and I'm still learning. It's a great adventure.

Nina said...

Oh I so totally know what you mean! I'm a late bloomer too. I've been climbing on and off since I was about 18 but it never "stuck" as a permanent thing until 3 or 4 years ago (somewhere around 28 or 29). My goal this year was to learn how to trad climb. I've already taken a class in Jtree and now we're off to Red Rocks next weekend for our first real trip since the class so I think I'm doing pretty good with my goal =)

rockgrrl said...

Great post! Funny thing is I think that no matter when you start one thinks of the "what if" of having started earlier. I remember thinking that if you wanted to be a top athlete at a sport you had to start when you were around 3 years old - because that's when it seemed all athletes in the Olympics started, and even non Olympics activities like virtuoso violinists seemed to have taken up their instruments at age 3.

Of course I didn't get into what became the favorite sports in my life (so far) until well past age 3! ;)

I learned a great saying though, "The Best Day to Plant a Shade Tree Was 10 Years Ago... the Second Best Day is Today."

I quite liked the sentiment (it even moved me to sketch a design for it) and I try to live my life by it now.

It's hard to remember all the time, but I'm doing better at it!

Tali said...

Again you all have touched me with your comments. I am so happy to have such great people in my life (even virtually).

Rockgrrl - I love that saying. It gave me a huge sense of peace when I read it. Thank you! I love the sketch too! I may need a shirt!

Kate T-C said...

Nice little article! Climbing is fun for so many reasons, and meeting new people should always be on that list!! My whole young life I danced ballet, 3 days a week 2 hours at a time. I never thought I was "athletic" and knew I wasn't "coordinated." I went back to try the classes one summer as an adult and was astounded at how hard of a workout it was! Seemed so easy when I was little.

I started rockclimbing (as a sport, not a date) just after graduating college and thought it was fun and easy like dance. I still don't think I'm athletic. I hate running, and any sport that involves teams and balls.

Try something new, huh? That's a great challenge!

Nielle said...

I LOVE your new website logo -- did you design and create it?

icancarryallthebagsandthebabiestoo said...

What a wonderful and inspiring post.

amyc said...

love the post. i'm a late-bloomer, too and love sharing my story with others. we never realize where life will take us/lead us, so i've learned to 'never say never' and enjoy the journey.

so here's my late-bloomer story... i never ran a mile in my life before the age of 26, liked to hike, but never far, or on varied terrain. now, at 35, i'm training for my first 50-mile trail race and have run the pike's peak marathon twice (hope to this year, as well). :)