On Sunday August 25th, 20 SF YAD members and friends gathered together and journeyed to Dogpatch Boulders, a bouldering gym located in the Dogpatch district of San Francisco. What is bouldering, you ask? This was the question on almost half of the attendees minds, as many were first timers. Bouldering is a type of indoor rock climbing sport, where there is no harness, and a person climbs a short wall of artificial rocks on a wall without the aid of any tools. It is a sport that relies on a combination of strength and strategy. The purpose of our group going to Dogpatch Boulders was to learn (or for non first timers, practice) a sport that is very good exercise alongside friends. We started off with warmups and stretches. Then, individuals broke up into groups. While in groups, participants found strength in hearing their friends cheer them on, and call out advice and strategy while on the wall. There were also participants who felt more individualistic and choose to wander the large gym solo, searching for the next puzzle to try. Either way, every person there got something out of that experience. Some people who had experience found themselves completing puzzles they could not have before. Others were able to climb their very first wall and feel pride. Some, for which rock climbing was too new to them, were not able to surmount any wall-however they can be proud of the fact that they challenged themselves to something new. Everyone left the gym with smiles. Afterwards, SF YAD carpooled to Auntie Angie’s house, she was kind enough to host a large vegetarian meal. There, we read a sutra and said a prayer for the Amazon rainforest, which is currently experiencing an unprecedented devastating wildfire. Wendy Ooi kindly led a discussion on what we could all do to help the Amazon rainforest fire situation. Then, we toasted to delicious sparkling apple cider. Later, we enjoyed a huge vegetarian feast. It included vegetarian mapo tofu, stir fried string beans, stir fried smoked tofu and vegetables, vegetarian ham, cucumber salad, stewed napa cabbage, soup, and stir fried noodles. It was all delicious, and was concluded by fruits and a special taro dessert soup.
SF YAD ended the dinner by reflecting on the bouldering experience. Several people got to share their experience. The common themes we discovered is that bouldering taught us about perseverance, overcoming fears, challenging oneself, and to not be disappointed if some walls are not realistic for the individual to climb.
Overall, it was a wonderful Sunday.