Saturday, June 4, 2011

Noobs and Gumbies

Frequently, on the internet, you'll hear newcomers to a sport described - I can only think pejoratively - as "gumbies", "newbies", "noobs", or a host of other not particularly flattering terms. The idea that these people are somehow lesser beings than ourselves is definitely implied and frequently stated outright. Somehow, we've all forgotten that, at some point, we were all new to our chosen sports and needed coaching, encouragement and patience to improve our skills.

Oftentimes, experienced people don't want to spend any time with beginners to a sport, but I find that you can learn a lot from getting out with novices. Today was the KMC Rock Review, which generally involves easy rock climbing on top-rope, with some volunteer (by me) instruction at one of the local crags. I've been doing this event for a number of years and, by and large, the climbers that come out are all relatively new to the sport and have a lot to learn. But that doesn't mean I don't also learn from them. Explaining, to someone new to climbing, why you do something a certain way, and what other equally safe options exist forces you to rethink everything you do, and, for all of us, that's not a bad thing once in a while.

Getting Some Rappel Practice

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