Member Spotlight: James Martin

I started climbing when I was in Boy Scouts but didn’t climb again until Vertical Rock opened 4 years ago.
I use climbing as a social group, attending as a member of the MeetUp Community. I thought it would be fun group activity and also a good way to exercise that isn’t the typical ‘gym’ experience.
I enjoy the challenge of good routes and the emphasis of good technique that makes hard routes easier. I also enjoy working with other climbers, helping to show them alternate ways of enhancing their technique and becoming better climbers.

Well, climbing has definitely made my hand shake stronger! I’ve made friends that I enjoy hanging out with both at the gym and on the weekends, in and out of the gym. The obvious health benefits of working out (and it’s a full body workout) is also good for my physically.

The helpfulness, courtesy, and fun attitude of the Vertical Rock community make it a very welcoming group of people. I have rarely seen anyone not welcome a new person into their group and help them climb. The MeetUp group is especially good at this as we all started as beginners and helped bring along new climbers.

My advice to new climbers is to keep trying. Find a group of people you enjoy climbing with and get the basics down pat before increasing your difficulty. One of the things I notice a lot with new climbers is a lack of fundamentals because the climber is climbing harder climbs requiring tougher moves while not confident in their basic moves. A slightly slower and methodical start will prove to be the faster way to progress their climbing abilities. Even though I said to find a group that people enjoy climbing with, mix it up. There are tons of ways to complete a climb and by climbing with other climbers, you may learn a new move that someone in your regular group may not use. You may show someone else a move you use that they don’t.

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