Why I Climb

Originally posted Aug. 19, 2011

When I look around myself, I see possibilities.

picture of bean tree shade area with floodlight in background

I like to climb.

picture from top of bean area clearly demonstrating height

People tell me I'm childish or immature, or that I might hurt myself. That's fine, I really don't care.

I don't care about being called childish. I don't care about being called immature. If being mature means that I shouldn't explore, then (please excuse the expletive) fuck maturity. I don't care much about getting hurt, as long as it's not lethal and doesn't result in permanent injury. In short, I really don't care.

I don't rock climb, although that is more due to a lack of opportunity. I prefer to climb buildings, trees, objects which you really probably shouldn't be climbing.

picture of floodlight from base

Of course, the views are amazing. That alone is a good reason to climb. The pictures here cannot capture the wonder of standing on the highest point within miles, and slowly turning a full circle. But that's not why I climb.

picture of jeju/next ladder from top of floodlight

There's a deeper reason, a reason that reveals how fragile my self-identity can be.

picture looking up at next ladder

I climb not because I like to climb. I climb because I am continually trying to convince myself that I am the kind of person who climbs - that is, spontaneous, curious, and adventurous.

picture of jeju from rooftop

The kind of person who climbs is also a creative solver of real-world problems.

I say "real-world problem" in contrast to classroom problems, which are designed with answers in mind, designed to be solved, designed to be part of a purposeful system. The problems in the real world have no such guarantees attached.

Many of the things I climb were designed for a multitude of purposes, of which climbing is most certainly not one. But I climb them anyway. Figuring out how is an exercise in creative problem solving.

When I look around myself, I see possibilities.

That is why I climb.