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Columbus Climbs to New Heights

by Nicholas Diaz

Source: Lucas Hengartner, soon to be posted on @rockclimbingcchs

Students at Christopher Columbus High School have formed yet another unconventional club: the Rock Climbing Club. The club was created to coordinate and encourage student participation in the unusual athletic activity of rock climbing.

The club was formed in the second semester of last year by now-seniors Lucas Hengartner and Alexis Penalver. The students formed the club because they shared an interest in rock climbing, an unusual athletic activity for people from Miami, Florida, a city without elevated physical features. However, at The Edge Rock Gym in Kendall, climbers can participate in indoor activities such as bouldering, top rope climbing, lead climbing and more.

Lucas had been climbing at The Edge for months prior to the club’s creation, but he became really serious about it when his friends joined the club and started climbing as well. The club developed a climbing community on campus that has flourished and grown to over 20 members.

Club moderator Mr. Gonzalez comments, “It’s great to see another aspect of Columbus being born.”

Mr. Gonzalez, who also shares a passion for rock climbing, says that it is a great way for students to get in shape both mentally and physically.

“Some people would even say it is spiritual,” he states, “and it is a good way of getting out of your comfort zone and trying something new.”

Lucas agrees that getting out of your comfort zone is an important part of rock climbing and what brings him so much excitement.

“I’ve loved the thrill of it,” he says.

In the last few months, Lucas has made significant progress, moving up 3 to 4 grades in bouldering and developing many skills that are difficult to attain.

According to Discovery Climbing, some of these skills include communication, trust, physical literacy and problem-solving, which are very important for high school students to develop. These are accompanied by the additional benefits of cardiovascular fitness, flexibility, dexterity, muscle strength, endurance, improved brain function, and more.

Although it is an unconventional activity, rock climbing has motivated Columbus students to form a new facet of the Columbus community in the Rock Climbing Club, a club dedicated to the development of students in a variety of ways.

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