At Rifle today and I saw a parent forcing their kid up a route to the point of screaming, absolute terror, more screaming and tears. I never knew this was what climbing was all about. There had to be 30 or more people at the base of the wall watching and listening to the total meltdown of the youngster and to the parent not lowering their kid. I am not trying to be judgmental, but making your kid cry while “doing a sport or activity” doesn’t seem to make for fond memories for that kid. I suspect that it will lead to hatred in the long run.
I would love it if my own kids grow up passionate about climbing, but the last thing that I will do is force them to do it.
On a positive note, I did see a bunch or younger climbers at Rifle today who were having fun and enjoying being outside, hanging with friends and climbing. It is amazing to me to think of how the climber population has changed in Rifle. I have observed over the last 20 years how it has gone from being primarily males in their 20’s to families and now back to the college age climbers. As for the rest of the climbers, they are teachers, professors, engineers, programmers, students and professionals all coming together to try their fitness (mentally and physically) on the canyon’s walls. Who would have thought this place would become so special to so many people.
Remember, climbing (as with any activity) is supposed to be fun and bring joy. Be sure that you are a part of the positive when you are out there enjoying yourself.