The first time I went to Phnom Climb, it was ladies’ night. There were women everywhere, lacing up their climbing shoes, dusting their hands with chalk, and eyeing the bouldering wall with a critical eye. Most of them looked like they already knew what they were doing, which made me even more nervous as I walked up to the front desk with my friend.
It seemed like the ideal night to go – it was at a discounted price, and I wouldn’t have to go alone. I quickly found a place to sit and put on my rental climbing shoes, preparing to approach the boulder wall with a bit of trepidation. I was excited, and I enjoy trying new things, but for some reason the idea of climbing a wall in front of strangers felt intimidating.
I know this feeling, I’ve felt it many times over the last year, and in many ways, it’s what I felt that first day on the bouldering wall. But the thing that made it easier that day, is the same thing that is getting me through life right now. Community. Encouragement. Perseverance.
That is what Phnom Climb did for me that first day, and what I see it has continued to do for the community in Phnom Penh. If you would like to hear more or see how you can get involved when they open up again, please contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I still remember how I felt going home that evening after I turned in my climbing shoes: tired, grateful, and exhausted. Taking a chance, climbing, and walking into the unknown can be intimidating. But if you lean into your fears, you may just find yourself at the top of a wall beaming down at those who helped get you to the top.
Written by: Kaitlyn Speer