“Climbing is so many different things to me. It’s a physical activity, but it’s also a way of meditation for me. It’s self- revealing and it’s almost like a mirror,” Elizabeth Priester said.
Priester is a freshman Education major and Climb Tulsa employee. “It’s kind of like a creative and constant physical outlet for me and you have to be creative with your physical movement in climbing.”
The sport of climbing has recently become a popular activity for many. According to the Climbing Business Journal, almost five million people have participated in some form of climbing, including bouldering and indoor climbing. Climbing now ranks higher than gymnastics and track and field in America’s top activities. In addition to these statistics, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has also approved rock climbing in a list of new events to be held in the 2020 olympics.
With a growth in popularity, one of the factors making climbing popular is the healthy lifestyle it promotes.
“I really see the benefit of helping create a healthy physical well-being with climbing, because when I’m not climbing, it motivates me to be active,” Priester said. “For example, when I’m here at school, I want to be working out, and be running and doing all these things because I know they are going to benefit me for climbing.”
Those in search of another outlet for fitness can look to Climb Tulsa, formerly known as New Heights Climbing Gym, for indoor climbing with affordable prices and student discounts. According to Climb Tulsa’s website, climbtulsa.com, the gym has provided Northeast Oklahoma with climbing since 1997. Climbers can climb for an entire day for $20 with full gear rental, but for those climbers with their own gear, they can acquire a day pass for a cost of $12. Climbers with a military ID and students with a school ID can enter with a 15 percent discount on the total cost.
This year, the gym is building a new facility, with over 20,000 square feet of climbing space and hopes to open soon.
While the new gym is still being built, climbers can find enough climbing and retail at Climb Tulsa’s current location.
Don’t know anything about climbing? Newbies are welcome as Climb Tulsa offers classes for all skill levels. The top rope course is good to take with a friend or partner to belay the climber. Climb Tulsa also offers a Lead Course meant for more experienced climbers and offers more of a challenge.
So get out, explore the gym’s facility and take fitness to new heights this year.