Venturing outside of my major... and onto some rocks

When I was a freshman I was very careful about the classes I decided to take. I didn't want to stray from the path that would lead me into my major and I definitely didn't want to waste any time or money on classes I didn't need. But when I ended up needing one extra credit for the semester, rock climbing sort of fell into my lap.

The School of Public Health offered an eight-week course that covered the basics of indoor rock climbing. At this point, my avid rock climber boyfriend and his friends had already brought me to the gym but I figured the class was a better way to get more involved with the sport. Once a week for two hours I got to scale walls - with or without a harness. Anyone who has ever attempted rock climbing knows it takes a special sort of motivation. And it takes that special motivation to fall in love. After the eight weeks ended, I found myself signing up for the advanced class. Both classes got me acquainted to the Hoosier Heights that is in Bloomington - and packed with friendly rock climbers. I'd spend my days in class and then take off to the gym as soon as I had the chance. 

Even though I'm a Journalism major and am pursuing my love for reporting, I allowed myself to veer from my course path and ended up  falling in love with a now life-long hobby.

I've recently gotten the chance to take my abilities outdoors.

Chattanooga, Tennessee is an avid spot for rock climbers and where I was able to spend my spring break. Most people venture to Tennessee for bouldering, which is a free-style of climbing that has shorter but more difficult routes. Climbers do not use equipment such as ropes or harnesses while bouldering.

The Red River Gorge, which is in Kentucky, is also highly populated with climbers.

Since the Gorge features hundreds of climbable walls, the area is popular for top roping. In the above photo I am top roping, which is when a climber uses equipment such as a harness and a rope for a taller route.

About The Author
Ashlyn BridgewaterJournalism and Sociology Major, Class of 2016

My name's Ashlyn. I'm a sophomore, Ernie Pyle Scholar and Hudson & Holland Scholar. I am also a double major in Journalism and Sociology. I love Indy and probably always will. I am passionate about my writing and other things, such as rock climbing. But above all I am a Hoosier.