Welcome to my Never Quit Climbing blog

A practical, inspirational blog designed to encourage and give hope to people who are climbing mountains of rock and granite or ones life has put in their way.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Don't Leave Safety Up To Everyone Else

I remember when I went for my first lessons at the climbing gym. They showed us how to tie our knots and then made us tie them over and over. They showed us  how to check our gear and we did it again and again. And when we hadn't been there for awhile they made us do another safety check just to make sure we knew what we were doing.

They knew that a fall from 20  - 65' was probably deadly. And most of the time it was going to happen because we weren't concerned enough about safety. Yes there were times when doing the knot or the check one more time was annoying but I'm glad they were ruthless about safety. You literally got fined if they saw you start climbing and not do your check beforehand.

You see, being safe, although accidents out of our control can happen, is mostly about us and our diligence in making sure we've done our part. The same is true during life climbs. We need to listen to those around us or those who've gone before us and take their advice about safe climbing. What did they learn was helpful?  What kind of protection did they put in place that at least limited their falling during the hard times?

Who did they partner with and what strategies were helpful in climbing through their struggle or tragedy most effectively? Sure, we all go through things differently just like no two climbs on a mountain are exactly the same.  However, that doesn't mean we throw all safety precautions to the wind and ignore the expertise of others. 

In fact, climbers usually tell you to do your safety check and then check it again. I remember a time or two when I would have sworn everything on my harness and rope were exactly as they should be only to have my partner check something and find it was wrong or at best incomplete.

Being safe requires humility, not demanding that you be right all the time. There are worse things than being wrong and one of them is having an untimely death. The more passionate you are about safety the more you can truly enjoy your climb or at least be assured that you'll make it to the top.

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