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Climbing Puts A Smile On Your Face!

By Vanessa Weber

My name is Vanessa, 39 years old, I am a Paraclimber from Karlsruhe, Germany.

In the worst weeks of my life, I find out one of the most beautiful sport for me: climbing.

In the summer of 2016 my mother became terminally ill with cancer. The whole body was already covered with metastases. There was absolutely no hope and the doctors only gave her a few more months. There were bad weeks and a very tense time for me and my family. At the end it was 4 weeks of diagnosis and 4 weeks to wait for her death.

A good friend named Frank always told me about his climbing tours and I listened with fascination. Frank is a climber since 40 years. His opinion was, that I could use a distraction, a ray of hope during this nursing period. So, we drove about half an hour away from home, to the next rock – Falkenfels in Bad Herrenalb. There I climbed the rope for the very first time. It was a great feeling – liberating.

For me, climbing was balm for the soul. Immediately, I felt my head clear and follow all the negative thoughts while climbing. I was infected and felt that it could become a new sport for the future. Frank also said I had climbing potential. Satisfied and with a grin on our face, we drove home. 3 weeks later my mother passed away and I am climbing till now! I gradually bought climbing equipment and took every opportunity to get ahead. But the supposedly strongest muscle of a climber – the head, unfortunately does not always work with me due to my handicap (epilepsy).

There are good and bad days as with all climbers – but mostly good. You can see that on my face, when I keep smiling!

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