Baby Boomers Climb

“Nothing venture, nothing win” Edmund Hillary

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By Peter Delannoy

It’s time to dream again people. I want you to imagine the world like you did when you were twenty years old. Opportunities for adventure were everywhere back then and they haven’t disappeared–just get up and look out the window and dream. Dreams and goals give you a purpose in life and just because baby boomers are older doesn’t mean that we can’t live big. I want you to remember back to when you were younger. What things did you want to try out? Rock climbing perhaps.

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deLannoy, 58, busting some moves at Jack’s Canyon, Arizona

These days indoor rock climbing gyms exist in almost every major city and may offer the best way to learn the sport of rock climbing. The advantage of indoor climbing is that you can learn the basics of rock climbing in a controlled environment before venturing outside for more training. Many indoor climbing centers also couple their facilities with yoga and cater to baby boomers. Climbing gyms provide a community where you can make connections with experienced guides and patrons that can help you segue from the indoor climbing scene to the crags that exist throughout the USA.

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Cranking the moves indoors!

Rock climbing outside is a excellent way to spend time outdoors and is also a great way to spend time with your family and a community of friends who share similar passions.  Climbing outside requires traveling to new places and experiencing new challenges. The act of visiting an area requires hiking, carrying a pack, and the physical exertion of climbing different routes. This is a sport that has it all: physical fitness, goals and progression, and camaraderie.

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Linda Salzmann, 62, cruising “Winner Takes All,” Jacks Canyon, Arizona

Climbing outside is different than climbing indoors and requires more training. Your climbing gym will be able to help you with this by either providing the guides themselves or they will know who to put you in contact with so you can sign up for a course. The progression of mastering a new sport can give your life a new meaning as you rise through the ranks from beginner to expert. And make no mistake about it, old people climb. Check out this video of Fred Beckey, 89, in the Dolomites.

I can’t overemphasize how important it is to learn new things as we age. This is good for our brain and climbing movement is good for our balance and range of motion. Another aspect of this sport is the fact that the entire family can do it together. Let’s face it, as we age, and watch our children grow up, there is nothing more rewarding than participating in activities together.

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The slide show above shows two generations of the Delannoy family enjoying a day of rock climbing at Jack’s Canyon climbing in the March 2017. This could be you. Send us your stories.

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