Climbing 101: Intro to Rock Climbing...Intro to Jesus
"Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good. As you come to him, the living Stone--rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him- you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ."
Today, I knew that is was going to be a day of growing. Matter of fact, it was going to be a day of starting something new. In the past 6 months, I have been preparing both Hannah and Pia to climb...you see, I hope that my daughters will be able to join me in this sport as they get older (Really, my dream is for them to drive all over America with me to crush all kinds of gnarly overhangin' 5.12 plus sport routes!). But like anything else...you have to start somewhere...
...and that somewhere has been our garage (yes...for those of you that didn't know, I have spent the last 3.5 years turning my garage into the finest bouldering gym on Sleepy Meadows Dr.) and the local climbing gym. And though the movements, muscle memory, and climbing techniques are all the same indoors as they are out...you are still pulling on plastic. So today was the day! Today was the first day of hopefully many days of climbing on real rock! But most importantly, today was a day to "grow"...a day to improve...a day to learn..a day to build.
The Moore's (Jen and Sean, Major, Addy, and Beckett) and Pasquel's (Sarah and I, Banana and Pia) at Mineral Wells State Park
Goal: Have fun, picnic, and spend some time outside.
That handsome man you see above is yours truly, belaying Major. We set up Top Rope, which is essentially the easiest form of climbing on rope. Your protection on TR are the anchors above (which i was very redundant with...despite Sean making fun of me...but we're talking about our babies here! Safety is priority numero uno amigos!), your tied in harness, and your belayer. It's relatively safe (outside user failure) and a great way to introduce people to rock climbing. And of course, that's why we were here...to introduce the girls to climbing on real rock.
The kids did great. Hannah and Major sent the route a few times without any real difficulty. Once they got used to the exposure, there was no real issue. Finding hand and footholds were no problem for them either..and after a couple of climbs, they were cruising up the wall. I was really proud of Hannah using some of the footwork that we have been working on in the garage. She was matching feet, toeing in, and excelling at high stepping...
As I watched the kids climb...especially from up above...I couldn't help but to think of how God watches us. About our growth in Christ...about how our growth allows Him to use us to build a spiritual house! As I watched Hannah climb this route you see above... I began to think of the time spent in the garage...working on feet and building endurance. Time spent in the climbing gym...getting used to the heights and exposure. I remembered all those Saturday mornings she would get halfway up the wall and "freeze." Slowly building confidence for the next time she went back up...Then I started thinking about our lives as Christians...and how there are so many parallels with today's exercise up the wall and our daily life. Our growth is a process that starts somewhere as well. It's a process that starts with learning how to take our first steps as Christians...it's time spent in the spiritual gym learning His word...it's all the times we step out onto exposure...where we feel scared, vulnerable, and lose sense of security when God stretches us. But the more we go through the process and are transformed through our experience with Christ, we begin to grow more confidence in Him!
In regards to rock climbing, the girls are starting out. They are new to the sport. They are getting used to all the little nuances and important aspects of climbing. But everyday, they are building more strength, more confidence, and more trust in their ability to climb. Some days are easier than others...often times, motivation is lacking, frustration builds, and doubt creeps in. But they continue climbing up! Spiritually, I don't know where you are today. But I am sure there are days that motivation levels are down...you are frustrated as hell...and you just want to throw in the towel. The good news is...God gives you strength and confidence through Christ! All you need to do is trust in Jesus!!!!! and if you are not ready to do this yet...I pray that this little girl will at least melt your heart!