Last weekend was a pretty big treat for us, as we were able to return to our rock gym for the first time in about 4 months. The long absence was due to a knee and wrist injury Colin received in January while climbing, of course. Now that he’s sufficiently mended, we found some time to get away from schoolwork and headed up to New Bedford to climb at our usual haunt, Carabiner’s Indoor Climbing. Colin has been climbing for two years and Katie has just recently picked up the sport. To describe it as a stress relief would be an understatement. There’s something about the beauty of the movements, the strength behind the grab, and the synergistic effort of mind and body that separates us from our stress. This is not a sport where you are judged on how quickly you complete a task, but how much control you have over your body during the completion. This is a sport where ripped skin is considered an accomplishment, and the fear of falling is replaced with the anger of a failed ascent. It’s the sport where everyone hopes to grab a jug, regardless of their sexual preference. A flag is used for balance and everyone hates barn doors. Climbing isn’t just about getting to the top, although that’s always an added bonus, it’s about the mentality behind solving the puzzle. Will it be the crimp combined with a heel, or a straight dyno to the sloper? A failed attempt is simply an invitation for deeper analysis and a motivator to push your body and mind to new limits of flexibility and strength. It’s the best way to exercise because you simply forget that you’re exercising, until you wake up the next day so sore you can’t even open a car door or twist off the top of a water bottle. During off days, daydreams are replaced by puzzlement over that one failed rout, and anticipation mounts while you wait to test what you’re sure is the solution. Climbing brings us peace, it separates us from worry and focuses our minds on one single goal, the ascent. It’s difficult to describe what climbing does for us, but one thing is certain: we are happy to be back, and happy to be gaining some extra muscle and stamina that will surely come in handy for our hikes this summer!