George Mallory once famously replied "Because it's there" when asked why he was attempting to summit the world's highest peak. Although we are far from that level of climbing, his response resonates with me, and I'm sure many others, as a timeless explanation for why people feel compelled to do a lot of things. The outdoors is there, it always has been and always is, and all of our pursuits into the wilderness, be they climbing, rafting, backpacking, skiing; are a result of us choosing to head out because something is there and we want to experience it firsthand.
I've learned a lot in the past week, about rock climbing and more, but the most important take away from spending three days learning to climb, scouting routes and practicing safety features is that there is always more to learn and I want to learn it. As I was putting this video together, I noticed I was replaying bits and pieces to watch specific moves, grip techniques, foot placements; trying to imagine myself copying those, improving and becoming a better climber. What I ultimately arrived at is this: Adventure sports teach you about yourself, encourage you to appreciate your life and push you to become a better person all while challenging you physically and that's a combination you don't find just anywhere. The more I realize the benefits of spending time outdoors the more adamant I am about the need for adventure programming for students. Education should encourage kids to become the most well-rounded versions of themselves and outdoor education is a great way to do that. It opens opportunities to students that may never get such an opportunity elsewhere, it helps level the playing field that is the often-inaccessible outdoors, it helps broaden student's horizons and it encourages them to push themselves in every way possible. The point is, I'm beyond excited to be working towards something so incredible and hope that I can help teach students to love and appreciate the outdoors just as I was once taught.
The video below is a climbing video mashup of the director himself, Andy. After being the student for a week, I can truly say Andy is easily one of the best people I could imagine to teach kids how to climb.