Enough energy for an entire family in Clay County, MO
By Jackie Tucker
“Race you to the top!” Ryan, my middle son, shouted as he and his two brothers began scrambling up the 40-foot-high rock climbing wall. As a mom of three boys—ages 10, 12 and 13—my days are filled with sports, roughhousing, and the inevitable bumps and bruises that come along with boys. “Active” is a tame adjective used to describe my crew. So, my husband, Scott, and I knew that our trip to Clay County, Missouri, would have to include some sort of physical activity to keep them all entertained.
We started our trip at RoKC Climbing Gym in North Kansas City, and the boys (Scott included) could not have been more pumped. Scott had climbed quite a bit when he was younger, and our boys have literally been climbing the walls in our house since they could walk. So, the one-day pass and rental gear offered to visitors was a perfect fit for us. Scott was a smidge rusty at first, but a little healthy competition with the boys quickly got him back in the groove.
“How did you do that?!” asked Drew, our oldest, as Scott flew past him on a tricky route along an overhang. Scott beamed with pride and talked Drew through the route. There were plenty of challenging routes throughout the gym, but thankfully—for my sake—there were also features for beginners. Having played various sports growing up, I’m fairly coordinated, but heights have never been my thing. So, I was a little nervous.
“You’ve got this, Mom!” Aaron, our youngest, cheered from 20 feet above my head as I started my ascent. “Just don’t look down,” he added with a mischievous grin. The RoKC instructor helping me was reassuring as he took time to teach me how to use the ropes and the Auto Belay system. I was pretty proud of myself when I made it to the top and didn’t pass out. And rappelling back down the wall was actually really fun!
We browsed around the Pro Shop, and Scott purchased climbing shoes for himself and the boys. His old passion for climbing had been renewed, and he was excited to start sharing this new adventure with the kids.