One Step at A Time: Life Lessons from Climbing with Life Academy

 

Life Academy of Health and Bioscience is a small public high school in Oakland that prepares students in grades 6 through 12 to become our future health professionals. Life Academy has been coming to our San Francisco and East Bay gyms for several years, and it’s always an honor to be a part of the development of our local youth. Not only are the students encouraged to push themselves in new contexts, but they also write short blog entries about their experiences! Caitlin Christensen, a teacher at Life Academy, sent along their blog posts and a thank you:

The students had a BLAST! Though hesitant at first because of the heights, they put aside those fears once they were on the walls. It was amazing to see students who typically don’t push themselves in the classroom push themselves on harder and harder climbs while in the gyms. If they didn’t reach the top on their first tries, they kept at it. Their perseverance and energy were wonderful to witness.

I loved hearing all of the growth that students experienced from climbing. Of course a number noted that they were building their strength or technique, but there were also students who identified the mental growth that occurred as well. One student expressed the following: “Climbing made me a better person to be around. It helped me understand the benefit of challenges and has helped me develop the ability to overcome challenges in every aspect of my life.”

“Climbing made me a better person to be around. It helped me understand the benefit of challenges and has helped me develop the ability to overcome challenges in every aspect of my life.”

Another student commented that rock climbing pushed her outside of her comfort zone and encouraged self-expression in new and exciting ways. The same student also noted that this experience afforded her opportunity to build relationships with peers she didn’t typically interact with previously. All of the students spoke about the pride and sense of accomplishment they felt when they reached the top of a wall.

Perhaps my favorite comment was from one of our seniors: “There were times during rock climbing when I was unsure where to step and put my hands because of a fear of falling off. Those moments gave me a pause but I took that time to breathe and know that I only needed to take one step at a time. Taking little steps ultimately got me to the top and that is a lesson I will continue to stick by in life. I know I will have struggles in my future but remembering the time I persevered in rock climbing will help me to push myself.”

Taking little steps ultimately got me to the top and that is a lesson I will continue to stick by in life.”

We feel so fortunate that Touchstone Climbing was able to accommodate us given our lack of financial resources. After their experiences, many of the students are looking for ways to continue climbing. You have helped open a world of possibilities for them. Thank you again.

Thank you Life Academy! Read all of the student blog posts on the Life Academy Blog.