Courage to Climb


On a Sunday afternoon in January, while working the Adventure Outpost Climbing Wall during the Cincinnati Travel, Sports and Boat Show, I noticed a boy in the crowd with a very cool Mohawk haircut. A little while later, I took a look across the aisle and saw the same kid, watching the wall climbers from his wheelchair.

When I had a moment, I went over to him and told him I liked his haircut and asked him if he was thinking about climbing the wall. He, along with the adults with him, looked at me like I had three heads! He told me he couldn’t climb because he was in a wheelchair. I told him sure he could, we do it all the time, only if it was alright with his grandparents. They all agreed to give it a try and we started putting the young boy in a climbing harness. When the grandpa tried to pay for the climb with a credit card, I informed him we only take cash. That was when a lady stepped forward from the crowd and paid for him!

We rolled the boy to the base of the wall all strapped in his harness, and he began his climb. With an abundance of cheers, tears and pure guts, the young boy made it to the top and squeezed the toy chicken, just like the climbers he was watching all did. He took a look around and posed for some pictures before he came down.

While on the way down he told me his dad had told him he wouldn’t be able to climb. I told him he can do anything! Because he just did! After getting him out of the harness and back in his chair, grandpa and grandma kept thanking us. I thanked them for allowing us the privilege of meeting them and their amazing grandson! Of course he was nothing but smiles at this point.

After the family had left I turned to my staff working the wall and we were all in agreement that’s why we do what we do. It is defiantly worth it to climb a thousand kids in the matter of days, if you get to meet one like that kid!