Bouldering, Texas, and Bike Injuries
This weekend was jam-packed full of a variety of crazy happenings and endeavors. From spectacular events to painful accidents, the last few days are some that I certainly won't forget.
After having three midterms in a row this week (which I promise wasn't all that bad), I was finally in the green for a weekend to remember. It was only a few hours until my plane departed for Houston; Collegiate Climbing Nationals were this weekend, and I couldn't have been more excited. Last fall, when I first picked up the sport, I never could have anticipated flying across the country to compete against some of the best schools in the nation. But after months of training and meeting a bunch of awesome, new and encouraging people, I figured I'd give it a go. My only immediate concern was the cost, which nearly dissuaded me from going altogther; as your typical broke college kid, a ticket from Boston to Houston costs a few weeks' salaries, and as somebody who was still in his first year of climbing, it made me question if it was worth the cost.
Fortunately, after speaking to our captains, I learned that not only was our registration fee being reimbursed by the DOC, but also that our flights were covered by financial aid. I wouldn't even have to pay for a ride to the airport or the hotel room either, and suddenly I found that all of my financial constraints had gone out the window. Perhaps this is one of my favorite parts of Dartmouth; these revolutionary experiences are totally accessible, and I couldn't be more thankful for that.
Anyways, long story short, a few hours before my ride was slated to pick me up for Boston, I fell off my bike and landed face-first on the asphalt (it was pretty funny, I'll admit it). It only took a few seconds for maybe ten random bystanders to rush to my aid, grabbing me ice and paper towels and pulling my bike out of the road. Safety and Security was on the scene within minutes, and they rushed me to the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center to get stitches on my upper lip. While I truthfully wasn't even that hurt, it was reassuring to know that I had so many people looking out for me, and they made sure to act quickly so that I could still make my flight.
Somehow, I was still able to make it to Houston, and boy, did I have an experience of a lifetime. Not only was it super fun, but we came in third overall (or fifth overall, there was some contention over the scoring that was never really resolved), and I was able to compete alongside my teammates and support those of us who landed a spot in finals. If anything, even after all of the adversity, this weekend has made me really eager to continue climbing and has brought me a lot closer to some incredible people.
Whether or not I see you in the climbing gym in the fall, experiences like these are aplenty at Dartmouth, and I really encourage you to make use of them all while you're here! Good luck!