Once you enter this family, there’s no getting out.
That was Tony Soprano’s line in an episode of The Sopranos to his protégé Christopher as Christopher was being made. While I don’t recall anything quite this specific being said to me, this line mirrors my feelings of late about the most important family I’ve had other than my actual family: my home climbing gym, Adventure Rock.
It’s been over six months now since I left the familiar confines of Adventure Rock for the mutant-filled waters of the Boulder bubble, and while the community here has been very welcoming1 it’s obvious that there can never be a substitute for the family I feel a part of back home. In many ways I suspect that this a familiar feeling for many people about their home gyms, or at least I hope it is because it’s a pretty cool feeling.
I was reminded of all this over the weekend when I made the trip home to Wisconsin to compete in the annual climbing competition held at Adventure Rock, Quick on the Draw2. I was fortunate to do pretty well in the comp3, but what stuck with me more than that was the incredible interactions I had with people all day.
The entire event was spent catching up with people I’ve known from the beginning of my time at the gym all the way through people I met just that day. Each was a powerful reminder to me of the main reason I’ve devoted so much of my life’s energy to pursuing climbing and this website: the 2nd family that climbing has given me is one I can’t imagine my life without.
Let’s just hope the end of my time with this family goes better than it did for our friend Christopher Moltisanti and his family…
- Mainly, I presume, because I’m such a big deal on this here internet ↩
- Adding to the stress of competing was the fact that I was also there to oversee a website I built to handle registration and scoring for the event. Fortunately that worked out pretty well. ↩
- As long as I don’t think about the fact that I blew up one of my fingers in the process ↩