Think rock climbing is an unlikely place to gain some handy little rules of dating? Think again. Lindsay Gonzalez talks adventure (on belay and in love).
If fear of relationships sounds like more your thing than fear of heights, you should consider taking your dating activities to the rock climbing gym. It’s time to learn about trust and communication along with a new fun fitness activity.
Rock climbing is a social activity. As a climber who has been in the dating scene, it’s a great place to meet people with similar interests. You’ll run into a lot of people who enjoy the outdoors, value their own fitness and enjoy spending time with others. The community is supportive and those within it strive for greatness and pursuing personal goals.
It’s a largely cooperative sport; and I’ve always been fascinated by the belay position.
When climbing top rope you need a partner to be “On Belay.” The belay is the safe position on the ground that controls the rope and literally holds your life on the line. They watch you on the way up and down, reading your body language to learn when to give you a little slack or a tighter hold. They listen with an intent ear for your verbal calls to “take” a hold of them.
How does the partnership work? Well, let’s begin:
As you begin, first check each other to see if your partner has their safety carabiner locked; they’ll also check to see if you’re tied in correctly. This double check lets both partners feel confident that they are protecting themselves and each other.
Next, you’ll ask them if they are “on belay?” They will say “belay on” which is your cue that they are ready for you to begin. Once your hands are on the wall you state “climbing!” and the belay says “climb on!” signaling you to being.
When two people start climbing together they learn a lot about how each communicates and deals with stressors. You’ll learn to read each another’s body language and support them when they’re in an uncomfortable place.
The more I rock climb, the more I see parallels between the rock climbing world and the dating world. These essential lessons of rock climbing carry over as six little rules of dating.
1. Communication is key. Be clear and concise with your needs.
2. Don’t lie! If you are in an uncomfortable position, say so! Let your partner be there for you to take in the slack and support you.
3. Don’t beat yourself up if you can’t get a route. Try again and share the excitement of improving.
4. Celebrate each others successes. Go for a long walk in nature, a drink or dinner after a day of climbing.
5. Plan for another adventure. Let dating be fun and adventurous, plan to challenge yourself more or try climbing outdoors together.
6. Safety first! Protect yourself and look out for the good of your partner both on and off the rock wall.
Simple, right? Absolutely; but simple can also mean powerful.
Adopt these rules to safely carry yourself into the next romantic adventure of your life.
[image: via Cristian Bortes on flickr]
About the Author
Lindsay Gonzalez is an adventure seeking yoga teacher. She is a lover of all things outdoors, fitness and yoga. She teaches International yoga retreats and yoga certifications through her company Breathe On Board. When she is not teaching, you will find Lindsay skiing, surfing or rock climbing around the world. You can find her teaching at Denver’s top yoga studios. For more information about her upcoming travels and trainings check out breatheonboard.com