This week in honor of Valentine’s day, we thought it would be fun to talk about why we love climbing. Before jumping into the love of the climb however it might be prudent to share some Valentines Day factoids.
People often think of Valentine’s day as a Hallmark Holiday, but this is not actually the case. If you’ve never heard the expression “Hallmark Holiday”, it refers to a holiday created for commercial purposes. Hallmark is an American greeting card manufacturer started in 1910 by a man named Joyce Hall. Hallmark Holidays are holidays that are concocted in order to sell greeting cards. Grandparents Day, Sweetest Day, and Boss’s Day are all examples of Hallmark Holidays. Although there are a dozen different St. Valentines, Valentine’s Day refers to St. Valentine of Rome who died around CE 270, 1,640 years prior to the creation of Joyce Hall’s greeting card empire.
Nonetheless, Valentine’s Day was in fact manufactured. Around 1,105 years after St. Valentine’s death we get what appears to be our first acknowledgement of Valentine’s Day by none other than the English poet Geoffery Chaucer in his poem The Parliament of Foules. Although both Chaucer and Hallmark are both known for their inspiring poems, I’m sure Chaucer would want it to be known that Valentine’s day is NOT a Hallmark holiday, but rather a Chaucermark Holiday. Not sure that makes it better, but now you know!
In addition to love, for which St. Valentine is primarily known, he is also the patron saint of engaged couples, happy marriages, epilepsy, fainting, traveling, beekeeping, and plague. So, just in case you have no desire to celebrate a holiday centered around overpriced flowers, dinners, and shitty chocolates (I’m looking at you Palmer Chocolates), just know that the same holiday can be used to celebrate traveling, beekeeping, and COVID 19. Good lookin out Valentine!
So, now that we have a little background, let’s talk about why we love rock climbing.
This could easily be a five part series, and who knows, maybe it’ll be the muse for some future project, but for now let me just be as concise as possible. I love rock climbing for so many reasons, but I can say without hesitation that my favorite thing about climbing is the community. In addition to the community, climbing offers a sense of adventure that comes not only from climbing, but also hiking, camping, falling, and road trips. That sense of adventure is not difficult to achieve as a climber, and I love it! Finally, I love climbing simply because it’s fun!
So, in the spirit of the holiday, and the love we’re spreading for the climb, here is my Hallmark to climbing.
We’ve had our ups and downs, but you’ve always been able to peak my interest and rock my world!
Happy Valenclimbs Day!
I doubt I’ll even scratch the surface of why I love climbing, but essentially it’s because it fits so perfectly. The physical aspects are a fit since I love pushing my strength to its max. The mental aspects are a fit since I love challenging my brain to figure out and learn new things. Most of all, the climbing community is a perfect fit. I’ve never felt so comfortable and free with any group as I have with climbing. The support, the laughs, the perspectives…what’s not to love? Not to mention the built-in friends who will go camp and crush rock with you.
For the rocks, here is my Hallmark:
You are a light at the end of a very dark tunnel for some; shine on!