Sharing the Dream
By Joel Cox
Over break I had the opportunity to return back to my motherland of Romania. Bucharest, the capital of Romania, is where my parents serve as missionaries and where my sister is finishing up high school. Coming home after having been gone for a year made me appreciate the beauty of having home cooked meals and the enjoyment of a three-week respite from major responsibilities. I was grateful for the care my family gave me and I wanted to give them something in return; in particular, the experience of rock climbing. Soon after coming home, my parents, my sister, and I all went out to a nearby rock gym. Ever since accomplishing the infamous “Chimney” route (or pitch) at Owl’s Head while on my participant La Vida trip, I have been fascinated and excited about anything to do with rock climbing.
I was so glad that I was able to share what I love with my sister. She has never spent any significant time rock climbing, but after going just once to the gym she was excited to go back. Because of my experience at La Vida, I was able to deepen my relationship with my sister, Emma, through trying to decipher which moves could be the key to completing a route up the wall. One route in particular proved to be particularly challenging. Emma and I thought through different ways she could move her hand further up the hold, lift her foot to a higher spot, or grip the features on the wall. My dad joined after we had already spent 20 minutes or so of trying to complete the route. Before we were about to leave, after many failed attempts, Emma struggled past the crux of the climb while Dad and I cheered her on. She was beaming after letting go from the final hold and landing back on the ground.
Here is Emma Climbing
The shared experience of accomplishing a very difficult task brought my sister and I closer together. I was glad to be able to share what started through La Vida over a year ago.
Joel Cox is currently a Junior at Gordon College and is studying International Affairs. He has served La Vida as a sherpa in the ADK’s, as a Discovery TA, and also as a facilitator at the Challenge Course for Adventure Pursuits. We are very thankful for the insight he brings to our staff and his desire to grow as a leader.