Reaching New Heights
Thursday, June 1st, 2023

Joanna, a junior in high school, had been open about her struggles with anxiety and finding fulfilling hobbies. During our one-on-one sessions, she mentioned her interest in learning a new instrument and trying rock climbing. However, Joanna lacked the confidence to take that first step. In response, I began introducing self-care concepts as a way for Joanna to cope with her stress and anxiety. We even created a self-care jar together.

As our conversations progressed, Joanna’s enthusiasm grew when we discussed rock climbing gyms. It was clear that this activity resonated with her. With the approval of UFC, I took it upon myself to personally accompany Joanna to a rock-climbing gym, hoping to foster her self-assurance. On the day of our visit, Joanna experienced a mixture of nervousness, doubt, and excitement. I reassured her that these emotions were completely normal, emphasizing that there was no rush in exploring the gym and that she could take small steps at her own pace.

Initially, Joanna familiarized herself with clipping on to the wall, then gradually started climbing a few feet, eventually progressing to free hand bouldering. Finally, she conquered her fear and reached the top of the wall. Throughout this process, I offered constant encouragement and praised her each time she reached a new milestone.

After the session, Joanna expressed a tremendous sense of achievement and expressed a desire to continue rock climbing. Witnessing her conquer her doubts and prove her own abilities to herself was truly inspiring. It is incredibly meaningful to be a part of Joanna’s journey towards self-discovery and increased confidence. In light of the COVID pandemic, many young people have emerged feeling disconnected and lacking in self-assurance. By incorporating in-person experiences and providing opportunities for connection, I have been able to strengthen my relationship with Joanna and support her in building her confidence.

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