By Christine Petrarca
Special to Outdoor Enthusiast Lifestyle Magazine

It’s time for bed, you have a big day tomorrow. You finish your drink and tell your buds you’re going to hit the hay: you retreat to your room to retire. You hop into bed and check your social media before rolling over to close your eyes. The forecast for tomorrow is cool but dry: a perfect day for rock climbing with the guys.

Your alarm goes off at 7am and you’re meeting the guys at 8. You should have gotten your gear together last night but, true to form, you didn’t. Your coffee and muffin come with you on the wild race to gather your climbing gear. Your climbing pack must have everything in it from last time, right? You double check: as you tug at the zipper, dust and odor from last week’s climb escapes and you wish you had done this earlier. Everything checks out so you toss out the old food wrappers, get some fresh snacks and zip back up.

You walk out the front door where your shoes are waiting: stuffed with newspaper. You toss the paper aside, grab your shoes and hit the road. You’re late, per usual, but you’re ready to rock when you get there. The guys are waiting, like you knew they would be, and they crack on you for being late again.
The small talk ends when you reach the base of the climb. You all stare up in awe at the task in front of you. You get the same sensation each time, your heart beats a little faster and you get goosebumps as you give reverence to the rock face. You rub your calloused hands together and reach out to embrace the rock.
The cool breeze picks up as you pull yourself up and search for the first foothold. Though your hands are still sore from last week’s climb, it doesn’t take away from your exhilaration today. As you ascend the rock face, fear creeps in incrementally. The ground below moves away from you as you approach the sky and the breeze is now warmer as you wipe the sweat from your brow with your shirt.

As you reach the pinnacle, you exhale and look around. You feel on top of the world and you break for a moment and grab some water. Talking ensues and your friends drop their packs for a quick bite to eat. The way down is just as thrilling, yet a bit less intense. You’re ready for the descent and prepare to repel down the face. As you head towards the ground, you are focused yet relaxed. It’s cool again, the sun on the other side of the rock face. You glide with care and caution to the ground below.

You’re back at the bottom. You and your buddies kick off your shoes and sit by the fire pit. The day was a success and you smile as you have a few drinks with the guys and plan your next adventure.