Reflect and Comment on your stranger encounter

This past week, I have encountered many strangers and had various conversations with them. One of them was at a bouldering gym, a recent sport I got into with my boyfriend. I was at the gym, by myself, trying to figure out this one route. The route is on two walls next to each other, making a 90 degrees angle (it is the blue route on the attached image). My boyfriend challenged me to try this route out, even though it was way harder than my skills and strength a week before. Ever since then, the route has been in the back of my mind. 

Once I was back at the gym that day, I tried it again and got further up that where I got stuck the first time. Then, the same question came up, “where the heck do I go from here?” I was standing on the wall with two feet on the jugs (large holds on the wall) and my arms touching the wall, not knowing which crims (small hold) should I go for since they’re all very far away. I jumped off the wall to have a clearer look of the whole route again. Two men looked at the route and decided to give it a try. They both struggled at the spot I was at a week before. After both of them having a try, I started having a small conversation on how I got the point I was. Then we started talking about other routes that they could do and experiences with bouldering. Unfortunately, I was running late to my hair appointment, so I had to leave the gym. 

The blue route was the one I stuck on.

I always have no trouble starting a conversation with people in public. I found it interesting, learning about them more than just a glance from their appearance. Starting conversations with strangers can be hard, especially when you feel like they would not give back the same “energy” or interaction back. When it comes to bouldering, I always see myself as one of the beginners or weakest in the gym. Everyone seems stronger, physically and mentally, than I am. However, seeing these guys who seem quite fit struggling on the same route as I was makes me realize that, “everyone’s going to start somewhere.” My body started to become less stressed and my mind made me want to try the route again. 

In-real-life conversation keeps me curious about the exchange of thoughts each individual has on a certain topic. As a designer, being curious pushes creativity out. Every little detail or conversation can inspire you to try something new. As for these guys, they make me look at that route at a challenge. A challenge that I can complete as a proof to myself that anyone can start somewhere.

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