Having traveled throughout the US and abroad over the years, I’ve seen a diverse cross-section of humanity. Though I’ve been to Hueco Tanks on numerous occasions and even own a piece of land in the area, I had never been to Houston, Texas before my trip there in February. Prior to this trip, I imagined seeing women with “big hair”, high heeled shoes, fancy dresses and tons of make-up along with men driving around in large four-wheeled trucks with a gun rack in the back window.
However, I was pleasantly surprised to discover some of the most genuine, friendly, and appreciative people with a strong sense of community values regardless of race, religion, or financial status.
I had heard that the food in Houston was good, but I was expecting it to be on the fatty side of good. Instead, I enjoyed some delicious meals that were plenty healthy and filled with fresh ingredients. It helps to have an in with some like-minded locals. One of the best meals had happened to be at one of the Inspire Rock climbing gyms. The owner, Paul explained his motivation to offer great food so he hired a professional chef to create meals that are so good that people who live and work in the area come in regularly to enjoy a meal while watching climbers on the various walls that can be seen directly from their dining tables.
The best part of this trip had to do with meeting some great people, which makes me proud to be a part of this International tribe of climbers. No matter where I go in the world, climbers seem to share common values with regard to our shared sense of community. I met a variety of people of all ages from 7 year-old Hope and her parents, to one of Houston’s pioneering climbers in his 80’s who appeared to enjoy climbing as much as ever. Everyone I met was psyched to climb no matter what their age, experience, or ability.
Some of the most enriching experiences occurred while coaching and climbing with the people who came to my clinics. Teaching is one of the best ways to learn and I certainly learned as much as anyone. I became more aware of what points people could understand, how to simplify what I was communicating and how to customize my feedback to each person.
I never felt so appreciated than during my presentation at Lone Star College. The audience was expressive, letting me know their reactions by clapping, laughing and at the end, they all stood up to give me a standing ovation, which was truly touching.
Perhaps the enthusiasm they expressed had something to do with the infectious passion of Tim Cowan, who is a professor of Philosophy and head of the outdoor program at the college. Both the students and outdoor community are lucky to have such a kind, compassionate, and giving person to influence their lives in such a profound way. I am truly grateful to have had the opportunity to share some special moments with all who contributed to this experience. I wish you all many more fun and exciting adventures both on and off the rock!
Editors Note: For details on Lynn Hill’s speaking/coaching availability please visit her at lynnhillclimbing.com