Two weeks ago I had the opportunity to work with a new group of youth, filled with excitement, fresh energy and bountiful psych to be apart of the Dream Higher initiative. Lawrence House is a child and youth care centre, specialised in working with children and youth who have experienced trauma. Sometimes it’s hard to imagine, that these bright faces full of energy have gone through so much in there short time on this earth.
Coaching these youngsters on the Dream Higher social bouldering night was so much fun. For the first time, young ladies dominated the scene and boy, they crushed! There was so much fierce determination to push and support one another, while being playful and just enjoying the time to climb routes, be social and laugh with chalked-up hands and chalked-up faces, our so called “warrior paint’’ for the evening.
The plan for the evening was a well structured climbing session, following our warm-up routine, but all structure flew out the window, when psych took over and everyone discovered a climb that inspired them personally. It was really something to witness and to be apart of. As the session progressed, we all got comfortable with each other, or shall I say the ladies got comfortable with me (me being a new face in the scene for them).
As we climbed we spoke about what drives them to climb, what aspects they enjoy the most and what they get out of the activity at the end of the day. Some of the answers where inspiring and heart-warming. As we shared a sacred space for 2 hours that Friday night, I realised again what impact centres like Lawrence House have on these lives. They create a space that unleashes the potential each person holds within themselves, thereby giving these young adults a chance to turn their ambition and dreams into reality, in a world that otherwise would put them down and discourage them. The bright faces and the full-on psych makes me believe strongly in the importance of physical activity such as climbing, the multidimensional benefits to be gained and the importance of having this activity on offer to these youths.
Through these collaborations and rock climbing as a medium, these individuals can climb, achieve a goal and learn to believe in themselves as well as to dream higher. They get to discover their own potentials to be anything they want to be, through time and dedication to something that brings them joy and meaning. Something that they can go back to, time and time again for reflection, self-healing, lessons to be learnt or reaffirmation of their own strength, that comes from within. These are just a few things I find when I climb and I hope to share this with more bright young faces from Lawrence House and other youth, from other centres, to take with them for life.