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Harker Aquila

The student news site of The Harker School.

Harker Aquila

The student news site of The Harker School.

Harker Aquila

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Humans of Harker: Climbing with confidence

View the full transcript here:

Rock climbing is very much like a puzzle, you have to put all the holes together and figure out like, how you fit in the holes in the wall? And how do you get yourself to the top. And there’s a lot of failure involved. Like, I like to say 99% of rock climbing is falling. And that’s tough sometimes. So you just kind of have to, you know, take that with you and run.

Being a shorter climber, sometimes it means that I have to think outside of the box when it comes to moves. Because the way that a climb was intended to be done just doesn’t work for me, because maybe I can’t reach or whatever it is. So in that way, it’s like if something doesn’t work, like don’t dwell on what, don’t dwell on it just like, see what you can learn from that and just pivot and move on really fast. So just really learning how to use your failures to your advantage. Having that mental attitude of not giving up and being okay with having to change track and risk and uncertainty, I think has carried over with me.

Everything I do seems to be related a little bit, but I don’t know, I just like being outside and, you know, being in nature. So I guess that’s where my love of the environment comes from and wanting to protect it. I started hearing or like, educating myself a little bit more about animal agriculture and stuff. I was like, I don’t want to have any part in that. And then also the environmental effects that it has. It’s just, it’s not sustainable. But it was one thing in my power I could change. So slowly, I think over the course of a year, I started phasing out dairy.

I’ve always liked to eat, but there were things I couldn’t eat. So I wanted to try and make them myself. And then so yeah, that’s where cooking happened. Where a lot of my recipes start is me trying to veganize something. Usually, you know I’ll find some recipe online. Usually, it’s noodles. And then if it’s not an already vegan recipe, I’ll try to veganize it.

I think food is one of my, I don’t know, maybe love languages, if that doesn’t sound too cheesy, but I think there’s something special about sometimes, like, the only thing you have time for is to eat a meal together. Like you don’t have time to do anything big and fancy. 

I think I’m just lucky that in everything I do, whether that’s like Green Team, or rock climbing, or just the Harker community in general, and my family, I’m just surrounded by really great people that are really just good role models. And they’re there for me all the time. And so, you know, they’ve shown me what it looks like to be a true leader and when you know who your people are, or when you found your community that’s like such a special feeling because you always feel like you’re part of something bigger and someone’s always supporting you. And so, when I’m at practice or with my team, especially I feel very much myself because everyone’s in climbing gyms is wacky and no one cares how. So I can be dancing a really bad dance and nobody cares, or I can be falling flat on my face, and people are still cheering me on. 

When it comes to Green Team, it’s because, without a healthy planet, none of us are going to be here and I was keen to be healthy. So I think that makes it worth it in itself, just like the possibility of change, the possibility of a better future.  No matter how bad the situation is sometimes, I’m still smiling. And I don’t know why I’m smiling, but I can’t seem to like, give up the idea that things will get better.

I think, for climbing and other things, it’s just like the small little things that you learn in the people you meet along the way. And even that 1% of reaching the top.

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About the Contributor
Selina Xu
Selina Xu, Aquila Co-Managing Editor
Selina Xu (12) is a co-managing editor for Harker Aquila, and this is her fourth year on staff. This year, Selina hopes to hold engaging conversations and capture heartwarming moments on campus. In her free time, she enjoys reading, listening to music, and ingesting boba at an alarming rate.

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