Elevating Together: The Benefits of Climbing as a Kid with Fallon Rowe
Hey friends! We are so excited to bring this collaboration with the incredible Fallon Rowe! We follow her on Instagram (you should too!) and have loved her pictures and looked into who she was and her story. That is when we found out about her book and that she has been climbing from a very young age, and we knew this was perfect to explain the benefits of climbing. We are stocked for you all to read it and excited to bring this in preparation for our new community collaboration with the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Salt Lake!
- Fallon has been climbing since she was 6!!! This is SICK!!!
- She is graduating from the Utah State this semester! Congrats!
- She has written a book!! Check it out!
My name is Fallon Rowe, and I’m a sponsored rock climber, non-fiction writer, and geology student. I started climbing in 2003--when I was 6 years old--and immediately fell in love with it. My climbing career had humble beginnings in a small YMCA gym in Boise, Idaho. As I grew up, my opportunities to compete and travel for climbing increased, which greatly expanded my horizons and strength. In high school, I continued rock climbing but decided to also branch out into mountaineering. I was able to summit the highest mountains in 49 of the 50 states and was the focus of a documentary called Highpointers.
In college at Utah State University, I fully embraced my passion and made climbing a central part of my life with the help of wonderful sponsors. I’ve since had the privilege of climbing in dozens of areas, including Patagonia in Argentina, Squamish in Canada, and all over the United States. In 2017, I wrote a book about traveling on my expedition to South America, surviving an abusive relationship, and exploring the American West as a climbing dirtbag.
Over the years of climbing, I’ve experienced firsthand how beneficial outdoor recreation is for childhood development, confidence, dedication, and so much more. As a kid, climbing was crucial to improving my maturity and discipline in all parts of life. I finally had found an activity where I could channel all of my energy and focus. If I had a rough day at home or school, I could go climb my heart out and process my emotions. I still use climbing as a release for frustration, a path to joy, and a tool for thinking.
Climbing also showed me what community looks like; I felt at home with my team, at climbing gyms, and at outdoor climbing areas. No matter what hardships I dealt with, I always knew I could turn to my climbing partners, coaches, and community members for help and acceptance. The climbing community showed me trust and friendship, and inspired me to always achieve more in both sports and education. These peers and mentors believed in me and showed me my potential.
Having been a climbing coach for many different kids’ groups and teams, I know that climbing is the perfect outlet. Kids who climb can gain skills and break out of their comfort zones as they see their own strength and conquer their fears. Climbing gives them tools to work through struggles in their own life. When a kid tops out a wall they previously thought impossible, they develop a new perspective on tackling life’s obstacles. As a coach, I saw how kids from all different backgrounds and situations were able to bond and grow as people and climbers.
Teaching climbing to kids, especially in underserved communities, shows them that they are capable of collaboration and discovery. It shows them how important our wild places are, and helps transform them into environmental stewards. When these kids are uplifted by climbing and awed by nature, their mental and emotional health benefits, in addition to their physical strength and well-being. In communities where families do not have access to outdoor recreation, programs that facilitate learning are particularly important to give people new opportunities.
Climbing shows people of all ages their real potential, and helps them overcome obstacles. It gives kids the self-confidence and skills to develop their character and enjoy the natural world. Learning the safety and technical aspects of climbing shows kids that they’re capable of handling great responsibility, and breaking down complicated systems into manageable parts.
For me, climbing has a remarkably positive influence on my life, both through the community and the activity itself. I’m thankful that I found the joy of climbing at a young age, and I hope all people can have the same chance to fall in love with it.