Climb Up to the Sky!
Exchange student from Poland on a climbing wall

Pole can always go higher

Am I doing the right thing? Can I? Am I able to? Do I have the courage? Do I have the ability?

Yes. Rock climbing allowed me to answer yes to all of these questions.

Sport has always been an important part of my life. I danced for seven years when I was younger, but after that, I needed a change. I wanted to start something new.

Rock climbing became an important part of my life. It is not only exercise for my body, but it also helps me be brave, smile, and it shows me that I CAN.

When I am climbing, I think a lot. I think about my life and I process things that have happened. Being above the ground gives me a feeling of freedom. When I go higher and higher, I feel that there are no boundaries or limits.

Rock climbing showed me that I can always go higher. I can always find another way. It helped me to find happiness and always look at the bright side, the “right way, which allows me to go higher.” The rules that I learned to practice and develop my climbing skills taught me many values in life.

Rock climbing helped me to find happiness and always look at the bright side, the 'right way, which allows me to go higher.'

My body is stronger, but also I AM stronger. Sometimes, when I am on the climbing wall it is hard to find the right way or to do the right move. It is not our body that decides if we can, it is our mind. Rock climbing requires a lot of courage. Sometimes, when I am on the wall I have to make a risky move, and I have to believe in myself. I have to try. I was scared many times that I would fall and hurt myself. I learned how to believe in myself. It didn’t only help me to become better at rock climbing but also to achieve my goals in life.

Rock climbing helped me build trust. When I am climbing on the high wall with special equipment, I have to trust the person that is staying below, holding the climbing rope, and belaying me, while I am climbing. My life is basically in that person’s hands. I went rock climbing a few times with my best friend. She was standing below me, holding the rope. If she had dropped the rope, I could have hurt myself. I had a really hard time trusting her and allowing her to be responsible for me while I was climbing, but I did it! I did it and now it is easier for me to trust others.

Rock climbing is a part of who I am. It taught me how to trust, fight, and believe.

—Tatiana (FLEX, Poland), hosted by the Yolo family (WI)