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Oklahoma's Premiere Climbing Destination Offers Tremendous Views of the Downtown OKC Skyline

By Elisha Neubauer

Aaron Gibson was always a fan of climbing. It was a sport he enjoyed, that he loved personally. . . and with the increase in climbing facilities popping up across the US in the late '90s, he began to feel assured that it was time to make a leap and leave behind his secure, corporate job for one a little more up his alley.

Gibson knew it would be a great idea to have a climbing facility in Norman. He wasn't the only one with a love of climbing in the area, and yet, there was nothing comparable at the time. "The essence of Climb Up is rooted in our love for rock climbing and our desire to share that passion for climbing with the community," says Gibson.

He believes that climbing has been a powerful and life changing activity for him and his co-owner, Lisa. More than just a sport, climbing takes on a life force of its own, changing the participants for the better.

"It really is analogous to life in how to approach problems, overcome hardships, and challenge fears," he explains.

More than just a powerful experience, climbing has many, many health benefits. When utilized as an exercise, climbing really is a full-body workout while still being incredibly fun to do. "Plus it has the additional component of problem solving," adds Gibson. "Climbs are not always as straight forward as climbing a ladder or doing a repetitive motion."

There are many challenges faced when learning to climb which jump start the mind and the body: you have to figure out which hand and footholds to use, how to position your body to move efficiently through a sequence, how to push with your toes and pull with your hands and keep your core tensioned through steep terrain. When started at an early age, climbing has additional benefits of boosting confidence, as Gibson claims to have seen firsthand, time and time again.

For those who are new to climbing, Gibson recommends a controlled, welcoming environment to get started in. The facility offers several first instruction classes, hosted by highly qualified, certified instructors who will walk each participant through the process from start to finish.

"Our instructors will take new climbers through all the initial stages of learning to belay and climb," Gibson details. After a climber has mastered the Belay Orientation classes, they can move forward to classes that cover the more fundamental aspects of climbing movement. Private classes, kids' classes, and afterschool clubs are all available as well. For added fun, several group events are presented by Climb Up, too.

"Those that want to experience outdoor climbing can sign up for one of our guided climbing trips to the Wichita Mountains," says Gibson.

In addition to climbing classes and activities, Climb Up also offers several yoga classes, also taught by qualified instructors. Yoga is a great compliment to climbing as it also utilizes your entire body and focuses on training the mind and body to work together in tandem. "Some people visit Climb Up simply for our yoga classes because the quality of our classes and instruction is on par or surpasses many other studios," Gibson states.

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About The Author

Elisha Neubauer is a freelance editor, ghostwriter, book reviewer, and author. She is...

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