The 2017 Climbing Wall Association Summit has come to an end, and I am home in Sweet Home Alabama contemplating the wealth of information that was gleaned from this great event. This was my first time attending, and I am sure glad I went. These are my top 5 reasons (with some takeaways) why I loved the 2017 CWA Summit.
1. It is good to get away
First off, it was a very hot and humid 90 some odd degrees when I left Alabama to fly to a cold and snowy Colorado. The change in scenery was much needed. I should have have checked the weather first, but my jacket for the flight saved the weekend. I love the snow in Colorado, but my last afternoon was sunny with blue skies and 62 degrees...hard to beat!
*Takeaway: When you get the chance to go, do it! It is refreshing and energizing to experience something out of your everyday norm for a bit, and having a jacket never hurts.
2. People are Awesome
I traveled by myself, but was never alone. I learned about a new book I want to read from the man driving the shuttle to the rental car pick up. I tried an amazing new beer recommendation from my bartender at Denver Brewing Company. It was fun to sit back and talk about Fort Collins, CO with a lady that has lived there for decades. She was a transplant and said Colorado has a way of calling you to it before you ever experience it. Most importantly, I enjoyed my time hanging out with the people in the climbing industry. It was a time of collaboration and encouragement.
*Take Away: Engage with and listen to others. Everyone has a story to tell and we all have much to learn from each other.
3. Lots of Industry Information
One of the best things about the summit was the wealth of information. The seminars and speakers were great, and I found myself wishing I could attend more than one seminar at each session. Not only that, but getting to meet some of the suppliers for the industry all in one place was awesome. The company building the walls for GadRock had a set up where I could virtually walk through the gym and view the space and set up. Y'all the space is going to be amazing and I cannot wait for my friends at Rockwerx to get a huge dose of southern hospitality in Gadsden while they are here working their magic.
*Take Away: There is always something to learn and ways to improve.
4. A Ton of Fun was had by all!
There was a ton of stuff packed into a few days and on top of it all was a lot fun. From lunch and beers with new friends in the hotel bar to after parties with climbing and food, there was always extra stuff to fill your time with. I enjoyed the beer from Snowbank Brewing while at the Ascent Studio after party on Friday. Thank you to both of them and all the sponsors for the fun time. Please support local because these are the people that always show up and help support others.
*Take Away: If you push through the tired, there is probably a good time waiting for you!
5. CWA Summit 2017 was Inspiring
The keynote was given by Erik Weihenmayer, and if you have not heard him speak, you are missing out. On May 25, 2001 Erik became the only blind person to reach the summit of Mount Everest, and he also kayaked the Grand Canyon. To learn more about his no barriers life visit, www.touchthetop.com. We all face challenges in life, and those difficulties are chances to learn. It is certainly not easy opening a new business or following the calling that you have, but it is always worth it. Remember to enjoy the process and be an encouraging spirit to those daring to face the hard stuff of life. During his keynote, Erik said, "What if adversity weren't the enemy, but the pathway to greatness?"
*Take Away: Be inspired and inspire others to embrace adversity and the path to greatness.
I am looking forward to next year! Thank you to everyone that made this summit possible!