This I Believe

Ryan - Boulder, Colorado
Entered on May 8, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: sports
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This I Believe

I believe in climbing; the pursuit of seeking out arbitrary ‘routes’ on rocks and attempting to get to the top of them. It sounds petty and insignificant when I say that it’s what I believe, because climbing doesn’t change the world or hold some deep meaning. I feel no shame in saying it though. My life is what it is, and I’m thankful that I haven’t had to deal with horrible tragedies or a rough childhood. Through my generally comfortable 17 years in Boulder, various people and things have shaped me into what I am today. But when it comes down to it, nothing has shaped my recent life more than climbing.

I think it might even be the insignificance of climbing that made me so attached to it. I can go out, climb some rocks, have a good time with friends, and nobody really cares. I can escape from the world where real problems like disease, hunger, and suffering exist, into a world where my only problem is getting to the top. I can escape into a little bubble where nothing I do matters in the end. Sometimes I get caught up in the competitive side of things, wishing I was better than someone else or wishing I could be the one up on the podium with the small check in my hands. However, I always end up remembering that I’m just here to have fun.

Most people are the same in that they do what they enjoy. Everyone is different though in what they do. Some people are able to enjoy themselves by making a positive impact on the world, while others find enjoyment in less significant things. Maybe it’s selfish that what I enjoy is going climbing, but that is who I am. Perhaps some day I’ll feel some responsibility to go out and do things of worldly significance, but for now, I believe I’ll go climbing.