Rock climbers step up to the wall

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Erica Nealon, Sports Editor

When one thinks of sports, basketball, baseball, football, and the more common sports come to mind. Not many people would think to mention rock climbing. It’s because rock climbing is such a unique sport and not many have encountered a chance to try it. It is indeed a challenge and some Marywood students have stepped up to the plate in the school’s rock climbing club.

Rock climbing is an intense physical and mental sport. It requires a lot of motivation, will power, and strength. Students in the rock climbing club practice almost on a daily basis in the Mellow Center, trying to build up all of the things they need to succeed in completing the challenge.

In their freshman year, Matthew McGrady and Cory Phillips came to Marywood with a common interest, a love for the outdoors. The two gathered some friends together and began the rock climbing club, simply because of a passion for the sport. “When people ask me about who I am one of the first things I say is that I just play outside. I’m one of those outdoorsy types and climbing allows me to get out, challenge myself, and connect with some of the most beautiful scenes around,” McGrady said. “I just really like to push my limits and challenge myself mentally and physically, this sport does that on a regular basis.”The students involved in the club have a different kind of mindset. They are always looking to the next level for that tougher challenge. They travel a few times a year to nearby competitions. The goal in each competition is to finish the climb with as little mistakes as possible. These competitions provide an incentive for the climbers to keep working hard in the sport.

The members of the club are always looking for new members and for people who would just like to give the sport a try. It’s an incredible experience and a great way to make some new friends. Cory Phillips, club founder, encourages the team atmosphere and loves working with the other members of the club. “Everyone just feeds off of each others energy and together we accomplish some pretty crazy things,” Phillips said. “The sport is just an adventure, you’re always exploring and discovering new things and doing stuff you didn’t think was possible.”