How Life has Improved Since I Became a Climber: a not-so-serious look at the serious everyday life benefits of being a climber

Because climbers are a group that can notoriously laugh at ourselves, this week's blog post is sometimes subtle, but mostly not, nod to all the ways our lives have improved since we started rock climbing! Everyday tasks that were previously hard, are now simple thanks to our climber ingenuity / inhuman strength / alarming lack of patience / inability to give a crap. So how many of these things can you relate to?

Grocery shopping — you are no longer daunted by the task of taking multiple trips to get every grocery bag in. Just load two bags per finger and suddenly three weeks of food can be carried by your hulk arms in just one, agonizing trip!

Falling with style — you've been catching yourself while falling for years now! So now when you accidentally trip, instead of eating it, you can catch yourself mid-air and make the whole ordeal look good. Hey ladies, did you just witness my mid-air grace?

Random bar trivia — you're the most popular person at trivia when you can pull the name of that obscure mountain in Pakistan out of your ass, and carry your team for the WIN. What you know about Nanga Parbat, HUH?!

Knots — overhands just won't do anymore! You dominate at knots and take every opportunity to make every tying situation more complicated.

Setting the tone at every job interview — your grip strength is now the stuff of GODS and your handshake lets them really who's boss. (Hint: IT'S YOU)

Purchasing shoes — you can wear a whole size up, a whole size down, and everything in between. Thanks to climbing shoes, your feet can withstand some pretty ill-fitted footwear, making your shoe sale rack game STRONG. Bloomingdale's — we're coming for you!

Stupid human tricks at the bar — you can bet the most jacked guy at the bar that you can do more door frame pull-ups than he can and pretty much win every time. Unfortunately climbing won't save you from being beat up in the parking lot afterwards ... but maybe scale a building to escape? Throw a chalk smoke screen? Tell him you know Alex Honnold and then confuse him with an explanation of the difference between free climbing and free-soloing?

Taping — you can tape anything, anywhere. Especially when it's a portion of your finger being secured back to your hand. You know the medical applications of tape like the back of your hand because you actually have tape on the back of your hand, holding together a wound that you should probably get stitches for.

Hanging the Christmas lights — who needs a ladder when you can hang one-armed from the gutter and casually string the lights by yourself? Maybe even snag a toe-hook so you can bat-hang to get to those hard to reach eaves! Or if things are really desperate throw a Ho Ho heelhook and Christmas is saved!

Overcoming the smell of feet — if someone's feet smell, most people feel the need to comment on it, just so the culprit knows how gross they are. The smell of foot rank has become so ingrained in your nasal palate that maybe even sometimes, just sometimes, it smells like home.

Flipping the bird — your middle finger has been strengthened by years of pulling on monos, making it a formidable foe when it comes to showing that terrible driver how you really feel.

Having an insane disparity in your hand / foot conditions — your hands are moisturized and sanded to a smooth sheen, but your feet look like you've walked on chainsaws barefoot your entire life.

Hot coffee — thanks to years of climbing, the skin on your hands has become so thick and impervious, that you forgo that little cardboard sleeve at Starbucks and hold that latte bareback LIKE A BOSS.

Opening doors — gone are the days of struggling with heavy doors, especially when the wind is working against you. You're now able to pry open even the most difficult doors, and save yourself the embarrassment of flailing at your bank's entrance every time you need to cash a check. Climbing can't save you from an inability to distinguish a "push" door from a "pull" door, however.

Not being able to reach something — because we as climbers NEVER need to ask for help! Is the blender on top of the highest cabinet? Just mantel on top of the counter and homemade banana smoothies will soon be yours!

Understanding why Cliffhanger / Mission Impossible 2 / Vertical Limit are such sh%*shows — almost self-explanatory! While your friends can watch, enthralled by Tom Cruise's ungainly thrutching, you are rolling your eyes the entire time, because YOU know BETTER!

Maintaining pristine extension cords — you understand the importance of a properly-coiled cord, and treat all your cords and ropes with the respect they deserve! Not having to plug into a twisted, gnarled mess makes vacuuming the house so much easier!


Any that I missed? Or maybe it's a benefit that I have not come to realize yet? Am I not living up to my true potential as a regular person turned rock climber?