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Evel Knievel and does rock climbing matter?

June 16, 2016

 

Remember Evel Knievel?  Daredevil of the 70s, white leather jump suit with blue ‘V’ shaped stars across his chest, jumping his motorcycle over cars, the fountain at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas and then attempting a jump across the Grand Canyon.  Evel was a strange cocktail of courage, showmanship, and adventure mixed with a good portion of crazy.  He is listed in the Guinness Book of world records as the man surviving the greatest number of broken bones ever (a reported 433 fractures)!

 

I grew up in the 70s (yes, that makes me old enough to your dad . . . deal with it :D ).  It was a time of unrest: the Vietnam war, Watergate with President Nixon, hippies, and the civil rights movement. We actually had nuclear bomb drills in school similar to tornado or fire drills . . . just in case.  And it was during that time that icons like Evel captured our imagination and offered hope and a belief that even in the midst of what seemed like the end of the world, anything was still possible. 

 

I wanted so bad to be Evel Knievel.  My friends and I built ramps out of wood to jump over HotWheel cars with our bicycles as I would dream of Evel claiming me as his long lost son and taking me on the show circuit with him.   

 

And I believed that maybe, just maybe, I too could do anything.

 

I am convinced the rock climbing has the same power.

 

There is something about the human experience that longs for, even needs, adventure and risk. It is where we find our courage.  It is where we develop the confidence to approach the challenges of life head on.  And it is where we learn that failure, although it is a natural part of the learning process, doesn’t have to define us, but rather can become our greatest teacher.

 

Bliss Bouldering and Climbing Complex was created to serve that need. 

 

There is no doubt that climbing is just plain fun.  And yes, it is even somewhat narcissistic by it’s very nature (I am essentially trying to please myself when I climb).

 

But it also teaches some essential life lessons.  Climbing teaches me to trust my climbing and belay partner.  It allows me to experience the encouragement of friends.  Climbing develops my ability to problem solve and to learn from my mistakes.  

 

Most importantly, climbing helps me believe that I can work at something that is recognized as having danger and risk, and experience small successes along the way that speak almost subconsciously to those deeper areas in my life that tend to focus on the negatives and remind me that yes, life is hard and life is dangerous, but I can face that too.  

 

2016 is not that different than 1973.  We still lack faith in our politicians, wars have continued, youth don’t trust adults, and inequality among humans still has mountains to overcome.  Evel Knievel, rock climbing and nothing else will fix that.  But what we can offer is the most basic of human needs: hope.  

 

Does rock climbing matter? Hell yes!  Embrace the adventure and . . . 

 

Follow Your Bliss,

 

David

 



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