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Climbing means Family – Strolls Down Memory Lane

That I became a climber…

… could not have been more random.

I vaguely remember @t_n_kohler and @kaufmannjanole telling me of a place that smelled like dirty feet, sweat and old shoes, a place that was dusty, dingy, and altogether sounded massively unappealing. They told me they went there for a thing called “Bouldering” once every few weeks, and that they were already climbing blue (which I gathered to be impressive, at least judging by their excitement over having “sent it”.) The words they used made no sense, and when they finally succeeded in dragging me along one day, I had no idea how this dirty, smelly place little shack that was “Boulderworx” would ever change my life.

I can’t quite say it was love at first sight. But once I got over the olfactory onslaught, and managed to accept the absurdness of climbing a few meters up a wooden board on plastic holds only to jump back down onto a mat again, I was – well. Not hooked, not yet, but I would come back for more.

And more. And more. I would go bouldering alone as often as I met up with others there.

I liked the way the routes taught me to move.

I liked what climbing itself did with my body.

And as I moved between countries and continents, there is one thing I liked most of all: no matter where I was, climbers were there, too. Climbing gave me a home. A family, no matter where I found myself.

When I arrived in Australia to work on diabetes research – there they were, in the Albury-Wodonga, Sydney and Melbourne climbing gyms.

When I moved back to the States, there they were – disguised as scientists, but secretly, at heart, a bunch of vertical-loving dirtbags.

And when I moved to Magdeburg, to Berlin – I found them again, my family in a climbing gym.

That I met them all may have been random – but the fact that I love you all to bits and pieces is not. (And miss you so, so much!)

📸 by the incredibly multi-faceted and talented @bin.weg.bouldern (check out her podcast if you love #bouldering and speak German!) taken during the finals of the @blocschmiede #Schmiedeheldencup.

DAMN I miss it all. ❤

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