A couple of weekends ago we got the chance to head back to our oldie (but a goodie) climbing gym – Triangle Rock Club! Although we came up Saturday afternoon to get in a little climb time with some dear friends, the main events were scheduled back to back on Sunday – a Tenaya Shoe Demo, and a Family Craggin’ Workshop.
For those of you non-climbers out there, a “shoe demo” is just like it sounds – it’s a chance for Tenaya to “demonstrate” what their shoes can do. For three hours only, the entire fleet of Tenaya shoes were available for any TRC climber to not only try on, but to actually climb in for their entire session. Getting the correct fit in a climbing shoe can be pretty tricky, so a demo is a great opportunity to figure out what size and model works out best for your particular foot and climbing style. Some folks come in wanting to try on a specific type of shoe, others want the most multi-purpose shoe that they can find, and the gear junkies among us wanted to do laps on all 4 models before coming to a conclusion. Although it’s impossible to please everyone, I think the general consensus on Tenaya was a positive one – plus it was fun to be able to “talk shop” with my old TRC buddies. (For what it’s worth, here’s what I think about Tenaya…)
After the demo it was time to switch gears and get ready for my slideshow presentation on “Family Craggin’.” The program was actually the brainchild of Sarah Wolfe, event coordinator for TRC. My presentation was the first of several in a “Sunday Stone Series,” a monthly occurrence that will bring in a wide variety of speakers covering a wide variety of topics. Neither Sarah nor I knew what to expect by way of attendance, and the numbers ended up being pretty small, but I think it was a worthwhile experience all the same. I showed the Cragbaby Video, and addressed the logistics of getting to the crag with kiddos in tow, as well as what a typical crag day looks like for our family. I ended with a few pics from our summer trip to South Dakota/Wyoming. I’m appreciative for both of my sponsors, Trango and Athleta, who each ponied up some good stuff for the swag table – so one good thing about a low turnout is that a large majority of people walked away with a prize!
Although it was definitely out of my comfort zone, doing a program like this was a positive experience for me, one that I wouldn’t mind doing again some time. Of course there is a learning curve to it, but it was fun to be able to interact with people in person about topics that I usually cyber-discuss from behind a keyboard. For me personally I think writing comes a lot easier, as I find it easier to be fluid and coherent when I can reorganize my thoughts in my head 100 times before pressing enter. But despite all the nerves and pressure that can be present with public speaking, I think there is potential for a deeper level of discussion when everyone is face to face. That being said, I’m not sure where any of this is going (if anywhere…), but I’m toying with the idea of developing something a little more general and less climbing specific to promote locally. But at the very least however, this was a unique opportunity for me, so I hope the folks who attended were able to take at least a couple of tidbits away from it.
What do you all think? If there was some sort of programming at your local outdoor store or state/county park for taking kids climbing/getting kids outdoors/family camping tips/etc, would you be interested in attending? And don’t feel obligated to say yes, especially if you know me personally I’m just trying to get some food for thought here, so I won’t be offended if you say it’s just easier to get all of your information off the internet…