Maybe you started rock climbing because your boyfriend wanted to take you out and show you the ropes. Or, maybe it was because that guy offered to belay you at the gym one evening. Whatever the reason, it was a means to an end because now you’re hooked and after your first gear placement, you’re never turning back. There are great things on the horizon.

But……pump the brakes. Maybe I’m getting ahead of myself. Maybe you haven’t quite gotten there yet, and that’s okay too. You’re still somewhat new to climbing. You rely on someone else, generally your partner, to pick the crag and put up a rope. You see other women lead climbing in the gym and watch in wonder, asking yourself if someday, you could do that, too. A part of you feels eager to try leading next—but a nagging feeling of uncertainty lingers.

The most powerfully sexy thing that you can do for yourself is to carpe that diem and remember that your passion speaks louder than words or your looks.

When we think that we are not good at something, rather than working on what it might take to improve, it’s easy to default to a secondary role. But don’t let him, or anybody, play the primary role that was meant for you.

And you may be the most intelligent and witty gal he’ll ever fall for, but if you aren’t pursuing passions of your own, independent of your partner, then you’re neglecting a huge chance to build some strong self-love.

If you started rock climbing with your boyfriend, maybe you two are happily trading belays and swapping pitches, Maybe he is a thing of the past. However you started and whatever your reasons, know that it took courage to to be clear and persistent about who you are and what you wanted. It doesn’t matter how you started, as long as it ended with you, a killer view, the knowledge that the next pitch is all yours.


Cover photography courtesy of Alma Baste.

4 thoughts

  1. I started climbing with a group of ladies, I loved the challenge and the camaraderie. Then I went for my 2nd climb with a different climbing instructor, who turned out to be hot as hell! …I want him to belay me and then some…

  2. I like this post! I think it’s good to encourage women who learned to climb because of their boyfriends that they can be independent climbers themselves! They may find out that their partner doesn’t know everything, or that they have others they love to climb with too. In my case, it was the opposite, I was the girlfriend who was climbing for over 30 years when I started dating my new partner, who started climbing at 52 years old. Three years later, he’s leading around the same grades as I am, and as much as we love to climb with each other, I’m happy to see him out climbing with others too, learning new things, and having his own experiences. It will only make him a better climber and we’ll have more stories to share.

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