Venue name: Climb UP
Kid Reviewer: Sam Roldán, 10 years old
What made the experience stand out?
I had never done anything like Climb UP before. It was all about setting a challenge for yourself and seeing if you could beat your own goal. I went with my fourth-grade class this past year and I enjoyed climbing so much that I wanted to tell other kids about it so my Mom took me back so we could write about it.
What was the best part?
Being able to think you can do something and then testing your ability was what I liked best. I’m still working on one of the walls I want to be able to climb completely. I love how peaceful it felt, which you wouldn’t guess about extreme climbing. It felt the same to me as yoga or meditation because it’s not noisy and you’re just concentrating. I also liked going with just my Mom.
What was the worst part?
I couldn’t make it to the top of the wall I wanted to climb. I was only five pegs away but I kept falling. I was so close! It wasn’t frustrating; it was motivating. I will come back and reach the top another day. I mean, even if I’m still a few pegs away, I could have grown some by then anyway so my height could help get me there. I really need like seven more inches to get up there. It also takes a long time. My Mom’s back started to hurt about halfway through so she had to stop and wait for me. I was worried she wasn’t having a good time. She told me later she did have fun.
Will other kids like this venue and why?
They will like it because the results are immediate. You don’t have to keep score on anything, there’s no winning team or losing team and you’re in charge of how fast or slow you go. You can’t blame anyone else if you don’t make it to the top because you make all the decisions. I like that it’s up to you and I think other kids will like that too; adults like teachers and parents tell kids what to do but they really can’t at this activity. Sometimes, I get tired of trying to compete with other people in school, like to be the fastest or the best or just doing as I’m told. Climb UP is more like you against yourself.
Would this venue be enjoyed by your siblings? Why or why not?
Not yet. My younger brother, Isaac, is 5. I think he would be a little afraid but he could want to later. Our baby brother is 2 and he’s the best climber I’ve ever met. He climbed the street sign outside our house and our refrigerator. When he’s older, I think he’ll be a frequent customer. It’s really best for kids like me, fourth grade and up, I’d say. I went with my fourth grade class before summer break and everyone liked giving it a try because they could go at their own pace. Even kids who aren’t super athletic could have a good time because there’s not a ball to chase or people yelling. It is so calm and quiet. I felt relaxed.
If you could do this again knowing what you know now, what would you do differently?
I would go on a day that isn’t rainy so I could climb on the outside of the silos. That looks really cool. I’m not afraid of heights but the good thing is you don’t really notice how high up you are because you’re just focused on the climbing. I would also start out right away with a chalk bag for better grip instead of waiting until I started to fall and was already tired before getting one. My parents don’t let me lift weights but I feel like I need more strength in my arms. It really wears you out. I fell asleep on the way home.
Does what you saw match up with anything you're learning in school or have seen before in a book, on TV, etc.?
Perseverance is a virtue we talk about at my school but it takes longer to see that you’re getting better at something like a school subject. I’ve worked on my math all year, for example, and my best grade came at the end but it took forever to get better. That kind of progress feels slow but this kind of progress is very fast. I could tell right away when I was starting to feel tired or when I was doing better. Other than that, I haven’t really seen anything about climbing before specifically.
What do you think you'll remember most about Climb UP?
I’ll remember the satisfaction I felt of getting to the top and that it’s good to keep trying when you don’t.
[Editor's Note: Read all our Kid Reviews at www.metrofamilymagazine.com/Kid-Reviews/]