David Bowes, Club Patron and GB Paraclimbing Team Captain.
Climbing means everything to me! It marked the stage in my life where I gained self confidence through putting on muscle, becoming a healthy size & weight and socialising at climbing walls. It’s how I met some great lifelong friends who still mean a great deal to me. It’s how I rehabbed my body, brain and mental health after a debilitating and life changing motorbike crash over a decade ago. And once again, after using it to finally overcome the brain injury’s most crippling symptoms, it’s given me passion for life and for exercise again.
It builds me up in so many ways. For a start you get the fantastic blend of happy hormones that accompany exercise with the rewarding brain chemical release when you conquer a problem or route. Then there are those wonderful hormones that release when you socialise and the general contentment from being a valued member in a group of peers. I feel great for sorting my life out and using it to overcome disability, I love how when I’m on the wall it’s pure enjoyment, even when it’s through strained muscles and gritted teeth. The beads or even pools of sweat remind me that I’m doing something great for my body. My brain appreciates the challenge of deciphering problematic climbs by working out the beta. And, as you will hear from many a climber, I always feel at home walking into any climbing centre in the world, although walking into new centres brings it own form of excited anticipation for exploring new climbs. Climbing rocks and thanks to climbing, I now rock too!!