Views from the Top- A Survey of the Rockwall at AU
We often hear Andrews University students say that there is not much to do on campus. But Andrews University students might be overlooking some of the university’s best hidden gems. Sometimes we just don't know about some of these activities, because they’re a little more underground; this hidden gem, however, stands far above ground—I’m talking about the rock climbing wall at Johnson Gym.
Yes, that’s right. We have a rock climbing wall, which is available to all students for only $5 per visit, or $30 per semester (your first visit is free). It is an indoor wall, located on the third floor of Johnson Gym and is available for use on Sunday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. and on Monday to Thursday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. The rock-climbing wall is in the same space where the Andrews University Gymnics meet, which makes it a great place to meet other fitness-minded students.
If you are concerned that the rock climbing wall is dangerous because you’re scared of heights, that is OK. The wall is operated by trained professionals and you can rest assured that it is very safe and you will be protected. Harnesses are available so that if you fall you can be caught. And if you’re one of the courageous few who dare to climb without a harness, you can try that too. The ground below the wall is of a soft mat material to break your fall—as long as you’re not jumping off the wall.
Rock climbing is the perfect positive outlet to spend your energy and time. In addition to being both a good form of physical and mental exercise, climbing can serve as a form of relieving stress between one’s classes and other extracurricular responsibilities. Also, climbing the wall is a rewarding experience, and the reward you receive is more than seeing a digital number of miles you’ve run on a treadmill or being able to do a few more pull-ups than your usual. Since the climbing wall is just over two stories tall, you have the opportunity to climb pretty high; looking down at the ground and seeing how far you’ve climbed provides you with real-time updates on your progress to the top. Once you reach the top, the feeling is priceless and well worth the sweat.
Although rock climbing may not seem very hard (don’t be mistaken—it’s quite the workout), not everyone is brave enough to try it. However, Andrews’ climbing wall is not the most challenging, especially in comparison to climbing outdoor rock faces, and it could serve as the perfect opportunity for beginners to try rock climbing out. And since rock climbing is even more fun when you do it with a group of friends, invite your friends to come climbing with you! Once you’ve gotten a hang of the wall, pun intended, you could play some games on the wall. For example, when my friends and I climb, I use time constraints so we can see who is the fastest and fittest.
Since so few Andrews University students know about this fantastic opportunity, we need to spread the word so that everyone has the chance to try it out. Rock climbing’s benefits are numerous, and whether you would climb to relieve stress or bond with your friends, the opportunity is yours and your first evening is free. So go, check out the rock climbing wall—take advantage of this opportunity to strengthen both your body and mind.