Storytime! What the Climbing Community Means to Me


It’s difficult for me to make climbing videos
now because of my finger injury, so I am going to start telling stories that happened throughout
my 11+ years of rock climbing journey. Here’s the first one. As you all can tell from my accent, I did
not grow up in the United States. I came here 9 years ago as a student. Back then I was already really into climbing,
so one of the first thing I did when landed in the United States was to look
for a rock climbing gym, and I found one at my school. I remember the very first person I talked
to at the gym, which is also the very first person I have a English conversation with
in the United States. She happened to work the shift at the front
desk at the time. She was incredibly friendly and showed me
around the gym. She was extremely patient with my broken English
and I didn’t sense a single hint of annoyance. It was probably just another usual day for
her but I was extremely impressed. Why? Imagine yourself walking into a new place,
none of the people there look like you, and you barely speak their language. I consider myself as a guy who is fairly good
at stepping out of my own comfort zone but I still felt a little bit nervous. However, after my conversation with her, all
my nervousness was gone. At that time I was wondering whether this
is more of a climbing community thing or an American thing. Of course, after all these years in America,
I know the answer. It’s both, but definitely more of a climbing
community thing. The second story is I knew I had to improve
my English speaking ability, so what I did was if I was not on the wall climbing, I struck
up conversations all the time with climbers who were sitting on the mat resting. Back in the days, the process was very long
to translate what people said in English into my native language, and then form a response,
and then translate that response into English, and then say it out loud. But I will say 95 percent of the climbers
were incredibly friendly and patient, which is absolutely amazing. I made friends with a lot of climbers along
the way and I have to say that the climbing community is one of the main reasons of my
rapid improvement in English speaking abilities. The third story is I received help from multiple
climbers, so I wanted to be able to help out climbers as well. What I did quite often was when I saw a climber
struggling on a climb that I was able to finish, I often went up to them and show them my beta
with the intention of helping them out. I also spotted people bouldering voluntarily. Believe it or not, it was probably not until
my fifth year in America did I realized that this is actually a bad thing to do, and there’s
even a term called “beta spraying” that describes this kind of behavior. For my own defense, if someone offers me help
without my request, I will actually greatly appreciate it, especially as an immigrant,
so I was not doing something that I wouldn’t do to myself to people. Anyways, the climbers who got beta sprayed
by me were all incredibly nice and I didn’t sense a single hint of annoyance, which is
again absolutely amazing. The last story is once I was climbing with
a group of climbers, and I overheard them organizing an outdoor climbing trip to Santee
Boulders. I wasn’t very familiar with them at the
time, but as I never climbed outdoors before and I really wanted to know what it was like,
I asked them if they can take me along with them since I didn’t have a car at the time. They agreed and took me along. I remember I got shut down by V0s out there
but I was extremely thrilled to have the opportunity to climb on real rocks. After some time, the Thanksgiving holiday
was coming up, and they organized a trip to Joshua Tree and they
invited me. I had no gear, no car, so I basically got
to just tag along and have fun without contributing much. I was not even able to participate much in
conversations in the car and during Thanksgiving dinner because of my limited command of English
speaking abilities and also the differences in age and culture. I thought they were incredibly incredibly
kind. Even though I don’t climb with them anymore
now because some of them become professors at universities in other States, and some
of them become parents.They are like big brothers and big sisters to me and I would always thank
them for the great great memories. That’s it for today. Do you have a story about the climbing community
that you would like to share? Let me know in the comments below, and as
always, make sure to like and subscribe. See you in the next video.




Comments
  1. Great stories and are awesome. 🤘Maybe a story on the psychological challenge of injury recovery involving yourself and maybe others? Great thanks to good friend Adam Mashouri who was my daughter’s team Vital coach during her high school years now college sophomore; what a great guy and goofy, but genuine caring coach.

    Story: When my daughter and I went to Santee Boulders for the first time by ourselves, we met a 45 year climbing guru that had been climbing at Santee for 25 years; he never did indoor bouldering-all outdoor. As we were still rookies for outdoor, as most of our outdoor excursions involved Adam, like your experience, he was eager to help us. He spent two hours of his time showing us how to smear while on top rope and footwork that we still us today-did my first 100% smear climb (YT video).

    Ran into @rockentry yesterday at Stoney Point for my project of V1R-“Hogtied” and showed the way to send it. 👍 Like him and your experiences, I feel so fortunate for this great community of genuine caring and sharing people.

    Keep up the great vids and openness-you are a catalyst of positive energy that binds us all. 🙏🙇

  2. As a beginner. I'm fine with people giving me beta. I was struggling with a climb recently. A couple of guys climbing much higher grades near by came over and one climbed my climb. I know it wasn't a challenge for them but they wanted to help me out without directly telling me. Unfortunately I didn't have the energy left to finish the route but I knew how it was supposed to be done and the two guys were very supportive once I'd tried their beta.

  3. Great story! Really excited for more videos like these. I know how hard it is to create climbing content during an injury, glad you’re doing these. Keep at it and wishing you a strong recovery!

  4. Hey J, you probably don’t remember me, but we used to run into each other occasionally at occ. I’m glad you’re making this content and sharing your story. It’s so great to hear. Hope you recover from your injury soon.

  5. I am so glad I found your channel you have such great stories you have kept me going as a climer at times you have a big impact though YouTube I wish you the best

  6. Well, tells us a little more about your finger injury (what exactly has happened, what have you done so far, and how it's healing?).

  7. WOW, 9 years! since you left Taiwan, the LZS boulder gym has became Stone boulder gym and now became MEGA stone gym. Most of the climbers in Taiwan are also very nice. I also trained my English conversation with foreign climbers in the gym, they are all very nice, and invited me to outdoor boulders, very cool experience to me!!

  8. You are great..l like the way you speak.i like your story.you and your friend rocntry videos are very helpful and I'm really thankful.

  9. Beta spreading is only anoying when you try a problem first time and fall, someone see you and instantlywithout a single hi explain exacly how your suppose to do the problem. Sometimes you need at least 3-4 tries to figure it out by yourself.

  10. thanks for sharing your heartwarming stories. I always wating for your video. take care and hope you get better! (also I really appreciate that you make subtitles for every videos. it ALWAYS HELPFUL!!)

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