I’m Laurel Tieman, a senior in the College of Design and a communications assistant in the School of Kinesiology. This semester I enrolled in PE 1045 – Rock Climbing in an effort to force myself to be more active and to get some exercise.
I wanted to try a new activity with the hopes of finding something that would keep me engaged and interested, and rock climbing seemed like the perfect fit. The class was held in the St. Paul Gym and was very small, around 15 people. led by instructor Matt Sharrow. An experienced climber, Matt was able to share in-depth knowledge about climbing and ways to get involved in the climbing community. The other rock climbing instructor is Bryan Karban, who teaches the freshmen-only sections of the course.
Our class started out with around 30 minutes of lecture, where we discussed basic technical skills, movement techniques, and training exercises to improve our climbing. We also learned about climbing gear and the many types of rock climbing, such as crack climbing and sport climbing. Afterwards, we had around an hour of free time to practice climbing and bouldering. As part of the class, we all got our belay certificates, meaning we are allowed to belay others at the UMN Climbing Gyms. All of the equipment, including shoes, harnesses, and chalk was provided as part of the class.
I enjoyed this class very much and I would highly recommend it to beginning climbers looking to try out a new sport. My instructor was very knowledgeable and enthusiastic about climbing, and also very easy-going and encouraging. I was able to get over my slight fear of heights and falling, and I definitely improved my climbing ability over the course of the semester. Overall, this class made me more willing to try other new activities and eager to go rock climbing with my friends and family.
Rock Climbing is just one of the many classes offered under the Physical Activity Program in the School of Kinesiology, which are designed to encourage a lifetime of involvement in physical activity. These 1-credit, 1xxx-level Physical Education courses are available to all UMN students. PAP courses utilize many of the University’s premiere athletic and recreational facilities, making them accessible to all students and providing them with an exciting learning environment. In addition, PAP instructors are skilled at creating fun and challenging educational opportunities and are proficient in working with students with a wide range of skill levels.