Reaching New Heights

By Maelyn Schramm, TrizCom PR Intern

I love to rock climb. I started climbing in high school. I wasn’t very good, but I did it for the thrill. I didn’t even understand how routes worked: that certain rocks were “on” – allowed to be used – and others were off. But I did it anyway.

In college, I began to get the hang of it. I learned the different levels of routes. I started to understand special skills, techniques and verbiage like “jugs” – holds with excellent grip – and “smear” – dragging your foot along the wall.

Post-college, I’ve climbed regularly for over a month straight now. I went all in and purchased a membership just a few days ago. Now I can climb whenever I want at an all-inclusive price per month. I’ve already seen great improvement and have been able to bump up to higher levels in routes. It makes me feel accomplished and confident.

Perhaps what I love most about climbing is the thought process, the strategy that goes into reaching the top. First, I analyze the wall. I assess the hand and foot holds, and what order I should go in. Second, I think about how I need to twist my body, stretch my arms, point my toes. Lastly, I dive in. I attack the wall, muster up strength, ignore my weakening muscles. I keep my eyes on the prize: the last hold, the very top. I sweat and grunt and even whimper. But the satisfaction of reaching the top is always worth it.

The way I climb translates into the way I write. First, I analyze the assignment. I assess the theme and voice I should use, and the paragraphs’ flow. Second, I think about my choice of words, the rhetorical devices I should incorporate into my article. Lastly, I dive in. I attack my writing, muster up knowledge, ignore feelings of insufficiency. I keep my eyes on the prize: finishing the very last sentence, receiving an OK from my superiors. I pause and furrow my brows and bite my lip. But the praise from my superiors is always worth it.