August 5, 2022
Written by Julie Rogers, Rock Wall Manager
Like most incoming freshmen, finding community was on the top of my priority list when I first came to Liberty. We all want to find a group of people to belong to, a group of people to share life with and build long lasting memories with. While my freshman year hall did provide me with a great group of people, I learned quickly that college is a unique place to grow and meet many diverse groups and types of people. A last-minute evening decision to head to LaHaye and check out the rock wall with some girls from my hall quickly turned into a major part of my college experience. The climbing community was something I didn’t know I needed or even wanted, but quickly became one of the biggest blessings to me during my time at Liberty.
The very first thing that I took notice of during my first visit to the LaHaye Rock Wall was the atmosphere of the people. From the welcoming staff to the other climbers, people just seemed to be genuinely having a great time in each other’s company. I tried out bouldering for the first time and immediately developed a huge amount of respect for people who could climb the higher-level grades. I grew up as your typical athletic type, who was always enrolled in a sport and did many activities with my family. Climbing was a whole different type of sport, and I had never tried anything like it. The personal challenge of climbing immediately piqued my interest. It satisfied the competitiveness in me without even competing against anyone. I loved the way you could work on a specific problem for weeks and finally see it come together for a send (making it to the top). Most of all, I loved the like-minded community that I found at the wall. Climbers are people who love the challenge of the sport, but even more so love helping and encouraging others to climb, regardless of level of experience.
Having been a part of this special community for a few years and becoming a manager at the LaHaye Rock Wall, I would argue that witnessing others accomplish a climb that they never thought they would be able to send is easily one best parts of being at the rock wall. Watching people come to the wall for the first time and try out climbing, only to see them become regulars is the most rewarding part of my job. I love watching others fall in love with the community and sport just as much as I did. I am so thankful for the people I have met through the rock wall, and I find great joy in watching other friendships form in our community.
If you are looking for challenge, community, and fun, I highly encourage you to try out the LaHaye Rock Wall while you are here at Liberty. I can assure you that everyone here would love to have you try out the sport that they love and be a part of the community that they value!