Climbing provides mental, physical tests
By Andrew Marini ’13 & Michael Moroney ’13
With his hands covered in chalk, Jonathan Croom ’13 swings from rock to rock with ease.
Croom frequently spends his time after school, doing what he loves, rock climbing.
On any given weekday afternoon Croom can be found hanging upside down on a rock wall at AZ on The Rocks. He also climbs at Phoenix Rock Gym with the AZ Inferno climbing team.
Croom does not climb up the walls while strapped into ropes; he is able to climb without the support of cable, which is called “free climbing.”
However, Croom doesn’t just climb up the walls, he climbs upside down, as well as jumps from rock to rock in ways not typically seen by the average person.
“It is a great test both mentally and physically and it really is a great all around sport,” Croom said.
When asked to demonstrate his workout routine he just smiled and said, “Oh yeah, it’s really nothing special.” He jumped from pull-up bar to pull-up bar using solely upper body strength.
“To me, climbing is like moving meditation,” said Mr. Neil Murphy ’06, another avid rock climber and Alumni Service Corp member.
Chalk coating his hands, and climbing shoes strapped on tight, Croom doesn’t hook into a harness; he free climbs with nothing but a cushion to catch him if he were to make the 20-foot fall.
Croom practices his swings and lunges on the rock surface with no fear of what would happen if he slips or falls.
“I typically spend three to four days a week at the rock walls,” Croom said. “Some places I’m looking to go to college are great places for rock climbing, like at Colorado College.”
Gaining his strength from his workouts and just repeatedly climbing since the sixth grade, Croom said he has turned a hobby into passion.