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You Can't Be Outdoorsy If You Haven't Climbed A Rock


Welcome back to THE ROCK FIGHT an outdoor podcast where we aim for the head!


Today on THE ROCK FIGHT Colin digs into a requirement for anyone looking to live an outdoorsy lifestyle: You have to go ROCK CLIMBING!


You don't need to be or become a rock climber, you just need to do it at least once in order to gain your outdoorsy street cred.


Then Colin gives an update on what's happening with THE ROCK FIGHT and how your support has helped to grow the show.

FULL TRANSCRIPT:

Welcome to the Rock Fight where we speak our truth. Slay sacred cows and sometimes agree to disagree. I'm Colin Tru. Today on the show I'm gonna tell you why rock climbing is essential to the outdoorsy experience and give you the state of the fight, an update on what you can expect on this podcast going forward. That's all next on the Rock fight. This episode of The Rock Fight is brought to you by Gear Trade. Since 1999, gear trade.com has been your go-to home for anew outdoor gear and apparel. You know you have that jacket or tent that has been left outta your past few adventures. Why not load it all in a box and let gear trade sell it for you? Heck, they'll even send you a box and a free shipping label. It's that easy to get cash money for all the stuff you're not using. Head to gear trade.com and click on the sell your gear tab to learn more. Gear trade.com.

Okay, today's rock fight is probably gonna piss some people off. Uh, but I don't care because I believe it. So for a long time I've maintained that there is a secret that you have to know in order to be part of our outdoor community. And the only way to learn that secret is by getting out there and doing something that shows you the potential of the natural world. So things that qualify are things like getting to the top of a hill on your feet or summiting a mountain, you know, riding down a dirt trail on a bike, pushing off from shore in a sea kayak, something harder than those things, something easier than those things. It doesn't matter as long as you have that electrically charged moment when something activates in your brain and you go, oh shit.

The world is amazing. That view is amazing. If I don't, if I don't do something like this again as soon as possible and as often as possible, I may go absolutely insane. No doubt some of you are listening to this and nodding along. When you start pursuing outdoorsy adventure sports, there's your life before, and then there's your life after. And even those who lose their way and stop going to the mountains or the trail or the river or the beach, they still know the secret and they want nothing more than to return to those places. And all it takes is that first step, that decision. This is to learn the secret, that decision to say, sure, I'll go for a hike this weekend. That's all it takes to really kind of peek over the crest and see what's possible on the other side. And once you know it, that's with you forever.

You know what the world can actually offer you. But there's another secret that people don't talk about, and maybe I'm the only one who knows this, but I find it to be just as important as the first secret, and that's it. You really can't be outdoorsy until you try rock climbing. I feel like you can listen to me about this because I am not a climber. I have rock climbed, but I am not a rock climber. You see the difference, right? Like you and I can go out in the backyard and throw a football back and forth, maybe play a game of two hand touch on Thanksgiving, but neither of us would call ourselves football players unless you're listening to this podcast and your name is Patrick Mahomes, and I guess you can do that. But I really believe that you can't truly call yourself a member of our community and understand the secret until you give rock climbing a try.

(03:16)

And yet, indoor climbing qualifies, and we'll get to indoor climbing in a second, but I'm talking about climbing outside. And here's my reasoning, firstly is the community aspect of climbing versus other sports. Now, almost all outdoorsy activities are solo adventures. Even if you are with someone else, your experience is your experience. The views, the summits, the rapids waves, powder, whatever, they're all personal. You can remember being with others while you experienced them, and that can be an important part of your memory. But your memory of the nature part will be funneled entirely through your perspective. Plus, sorry to spoil it for you young people. But as you get older, you start to do more solo trips, hikes, bikes, runs, whatever, finding common calendar time with your pals gets tougher and tougher. So those after work, big group bike rides start to become solo. Dawn patrols, look, I'll make the rules.

(04:13)

This is just the way of things. If you only value being outdoors with others, it's going to get a lot harder for you. Now with climbing, you need someone else to belay you, to spot you. The nature of the sport requires a level of logistical investment that you can often overcome in other activities, and that helps you understand our broader community even more. Secondly, climbing is more hardcore than most of the other stuff we do now should hardcore matter, we've talked about this in this podcast, and no, but it also kind of does. Anyone can get off the couch and see themselves going for a hike. But for a gear obsessed group of people, what's cooler than special shoes harnesses ropes and metal hardware to announce that you're outdoorsy as fuck. And I don't want to create any sort of outdoor elitism by validating the point of view that being hardcore outside matters because it doesn't.

(05:06)

But having that box checked on your outside CV has upside and checking that box isn't that hard to do because climbing is the sport with the lowest barrier to entry because climbing gyms what other sport, outdoor or otherwise has entire facilities dedicated to mimicking the entire experience to the point where there are really strong climbers who never touch actual rock because they choose to stay inside. Now, you can cite indoor running tracks or spin bike spin classes, but that's not even remotely close. The more dangerous aspects of climbing are present when you're in a climbing gym. And last I checked, you can't get hit by a car or crash your spin bike when you head to your SoulCycle class later this afternoon. And let's talk about the climbing gym for a second because it's actually really important. The indoor rock climbing gym is the outdoor hub of every town, city, every community, because sure, there are other rock climbers there, but there are also bikers and skiers and runners and alpinists.

(06:04)

There are also families and people who just chose to join the climbing gym rather than the Y M C A. But the climbing gym may be the one indoor place that encapsulates our whole community. People will show up there to work out because it feels like the outdoors. I go to my local climbing gym somewhere between one and six times a week. I'm not a climber, and I still do this, usually it's midday to lift, but if my kids wanna climb or boulder wool head there as a family and the vibe, the vibe is always the same that you find at any outdoor gatherings. It's just great. But for the uninitiated, the people who don't know the secret, the gym is also the place where newbies can actually try climbing. They can meet other climbers, they can take their skills up levels and then take it outside.

(06:50)

And outside is where you gain your actual outdoor street cred. Climbing outdoors lets you experience real exposure. You can go on many hikes or go on countless mountain bike rides before you deal with the proverbial wheels coming off and learning that feeling of, oh shit, what do I do now that the more season of us, we know that feeling so well. But even if you're just top roping, you feel the anxiety of clinging to a rock face and having to choose where to go in order to finish the route. And learning how to keep control of that panic that's deep down inside of you. You learn to appreciate and trust your gear. And no other sport allows for the irrational thoughts to creep into the back of your head. Like rock climbing. Even in the gym, if I haven't rope climbed for a while, when I get to the top and it's time to come down, that little voice is always there to greet me with a, Hey, you, uh, you sure your harness is okay?

(07:42)

It's gonna hold you, right? You're about to put your entire life into this nylon webbing around your waist. And one of the great things about learning, the secret of going outside is finding ourselves in uncomfortable and sometimes dangerous situations, finding our way to the other side and learning and growing in the rest of our life because of it. Rock climbing gets to the heart of that quickly, mainly because you'll never be more intimate with a natural element than you will when climbing. Sure, when you're skiing or surfing, you can fall into the snow or the water. But on rock, what you're holding onto is both your mode of transportation and your personal savior. You can get angry at the rock when you're run out or if your forearms start getting pumped to failure. But the rock is all you have to get where you want to go.

(08:25)

The bottom line is that rock climbing more than just about anything else we talk about doing in the human power to outdoor adventure. Sport world allows you to feel the real peril that you can face in the back country. It's gear intensive and community intensive. Unlike hiking or running, you can't just get off the couch and go, there is some work to do in order to check that box. And I'm not saying you have to become a climber. Remember I told you I'm not a climber, but I have climbed, I've been off the deck unsure of what to do, and very afraid in those moments. I'm sure most real climbers that look at what I was doing with an eyebrow raise with like a really kind of expression on their face. But those moments are burned into my brain for a couple of reasons. Number one, I got it. I got what climbing was about, why people love it, and I had a better understanding of the outdoor adventure world at large. And number two, I learned that I don't want to be a climber and that I could take the lessons I learned and sleep comfortably knowing that apart from the occasional gym session, I was good. Oh, and I also earned my outdoorsy stripes by going rock climbing. And you should too. All right, we're gonna take a quick break and then I'm gonna give you an update on the Rock fight.

(09:37)

This episode of The Rock Fight is brought to you by Long Weekend Coffee with four varieties of beans. Long weekend is the best coffee to start your outdoor adventures every day, not just on the weekend. Head to long weekend Coffee, long Weekend Coffee, and be sure to enter promo code Rock 10 for 10% off of your first order long weekend coffee. More weekend, please. Okay, this show The Rock Fight, we're seven months old, we're 80 episodes old. We've found a robust audience in a pretty short amount of time. You know, the podcast landscape is a crowded one. I, I know you have options. So to find an audience so quickly is remarkable and I can't thank you enough. You know, I started this show after getting paid to produce a show for someone else and getting to really take a look under the hood when it comes to outdoor podcasts. And in short, I just thought we needed something different. And that's what I've spent nearly every day of 2023 working to deliver to you. And you've responded, the rock Fight is a growing force in the outdoor media space, and I'm excited to keep that going. So going forward, we're gonna keep things extra fighty around here. You know, my pal and co-host Justin Hausman, I think he said it best on our recent episode when we did a review of gear reviews here. Well, here's the clip if you missed it.

Speaker 3 (10:53):

And so there are about nine things that probably need to get written every year, period, <laugh> like in

Speaker 2 (10:59):

The, and he is right. So I'm going to keep working hard to provide you with new rock fights and interesting takes. If I have a guest on, it's because there's a fight to pick and I need a sparring partner. It's all in a constant effort to give you the best show that we can that is relevant to this lifestyle rooted in outdoor fun, that lifestyle that we live. So email me at my rock fight@gmail.com. I want to hear the fights you wanna have picked. Who do you want me to lobb Lobber rock at? Send it over soon. I'll be sifting through the responses so we can have a mailbag episode. So make sure you give questions, send those over so we can talk about it on the show. So that's it really. I just wanna thank you for welcoming the show into your car home office, your AirPods on your commute, wherever you listen.

(11:41)

This isn't my show. It's our show. We're building something amazing here at Rock Flight and I'm stoked that you're here for it. That's it for today. Justin Hausman and I will be back tomorrow with another outdoor movie review and some tales from the trail. Uh, we love doing these outdoor movie reviews. We're about to go on a run of summer vacation movies, so we're kicking it off with the classic National Lampoons vacation. Does that movie make us want to go outside? We will tell you tomorrow. Uh, but tonight, go give that movie a rewatch so it's fresh in your mind when you listen to that episode. Thanks for listening. I'm Colin. True. The rock Fight is a production of Rock Fight L l C.

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