Rock climbing: an eccentric sport

Most Leesville students participate in generic sports: football, basketball and tennis are examples.

This is mostly because these sports are available and easy to participate in. But Meg Milan, sophomore, partakes in a lesser known sport—rock climbing.

Two to three times a week, Milan goes to Triangle Rock Club, a rock climbing center in Raleigh. There, she trains for about an hour and a half.

“Normally, we work out for 30 minutes, do the campus board [an arm strength exercise] for 30 minutes and then climb,” said Milan.

This rigorous workout definitely pays off, especially for Milan. Last summer, she placed seventh at top roping nationals and eighth at bouldering nationals.

The difference between the two competitions is simple; top rope is strictly for height, and bouldering is difficulty, often on natural walls. Bouldering walls rarely reach fifteen feet. The objective of both, however, is speed—how quickly you can reach the top of the wall.

Rock climbing has taken Milan to Portland, San Francisco, Salt Lake City, Atlanta and Washington DC. She was also invited to climb in Ecuador this upcoming summer.

“I’ve met so many different people from different areas,” said Milan.  “That’s why I love it so much: it’s a super different part of my life.”

When asked about how she got into the sport, Milan grinned.

“The first time I rock climbed, I was 8. It was at a birthday party. Soon after that party, I joined the team and began competing a year later.”

As for the future, Milan is uncertain.

“I don’t know if I’ll rock climb professionally. I would be super bored without it though, so I’ll definitely do it for fun.”

She should try to keep it up; there are rumors that rock climbing will be in the 2020 summer Olympics. When asked about her participation, Milan smiled.

“I guess we’ll see,” she concluded.

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