Climbing is an activity we began this year. Both Noah (6) and Lotta (3.5) take part and have stayed motivated and enthusiastic all year. Last Sunday our climbing club went on an outdoor trip to La Chaise du diable (The Devil's Chair), a site next to our river, the Blavet a little further down stream towards the ocean.
It was a lovely day and the children and their dad were delighted to put all their new skills to the test in the great outdoors. As a mother, watching these things is all kinds of nervousness combined with pride and delight in their achievements. My heart really was thumping as I tried to hold the camera steady and record their scaling of this impressive cliff for grandparents and posterity!
Lotta only climbed once, up at the top she suddenly noticed me and took fright. Our lovely instructor Julie, who is always kind and supportive, told us that one climb is usually enough for smaller children. Not only are they impressed by the reality of climbing a rock not an indoor wall, they also get tired quickly from all the muscles they have to use. Noah climbed three times, three different climbs. Seeing their satisfaction makes the effort of the thirty minute drive to the climbing wall each week feel worth the while.
I think they've learnt a lot from climbing. It's an activity that requires discipline, a calm head and a steady hand. You have to be observant to find the right hand and foot holds. You also have to listen to what's going on inside, how your body feels, where it will fit best with the wall or the rock. I believe that the skills they are learning practicing climbing will serve them in their daily lives helping them to stay calm under pressure, observe data and analyse it quickly, problem solve and have confidence in themselves; their bodies, their instincts.