University of Rochester
Climbing to Confidence
Evaluate a significant experience, achievement, risk you have taken, or ethical dilemma you have faced and its impact on you.
What motivates someone to bungee jump head-first off bridges, crawl through rock tunnels miles below the surface of the earth, or tackle the white crags of Mount Everest? Not everyone escapes these experiences unscathed, leaving many questioning why people are willing to risk life and limb for daring stunts, but the answer is clear to me—the struggle entices those who want to test their limits, but these tests are as much a test of mental endurance as they are physical feats of strength.
I didn’t always understand the appeal of testing my mental endurance. As my seven-year-old self looked at a wall of over-sized, multi-colored rocks at the local climbing gym, I wanted a reward that was a little more tangible. I was motivated to finish my first climb by a box of tootsie rolls at the top of the rock wall.
Tootsie rolls aside, I became an adrenaline junkie over the next few years because of climbing. I loved nothing better than getting my feet off the ground, using whatever means necessary. Unfortunately, my newfound craving for height led to some sticky situations. One adventure in my grandparents’ oak trees left my grandmother sprinting for the ladder to help me before I broke a bone. But, no matter how many times I slipped,...
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