We recently received a holiday card from one of our members that captured a very important sentiment to us. Not only because of the kind words, but because he was able to get to the very core of why we chose to invest our future into two climbing gyms in Colorado. The key statement in the card was, “We love the great community you’ve been nurturing. Thanks for maintaining such great places for us to grow, learn, and get stronger.” These simple words perfectly capture why we came to Colorado. We wanted the same for our lives.
When we made the decision to purchase ROCK’n & JAM’n, we honestly didn’t do it for money. It was truly a quality of life decision, but not the normal decision that revolves around wealth and material success. We were driven by a desire to provide a certain quality of life for our children and ourselves; a quality of life that had everything to do with a need to be a part of a very special community. A community of people who, unfortunately, we did not know existed prior to 2003. We were introduced to these wonderful people through the normal channels; a friend had a friend who had a friend who climbed. In our case, Thomas Parker simply invited us to do something different in a place called ROCK’n & JAM’n and ended up changing our lives.
By being open minded enough to try something new; we inadvertently were introduced to a very special group of people. We quickly learned that regardless of where we went, whether it was Shelf Road, Rifle, Clear Creek Canyon, or the gym, we always felt welcome. Even though we were not strong climbers and had nothing to offer in return, we would inevitably find ourselves surrounded by strangers who seemed all too eager to help us. Whether they were helping us with words of encouragement, simple beta, or some much needed advice regarding technique, it always seemed that these strange, extremely strong people were always pushing us to succeed. Strangers were pushing us to be better for no apparent reason. This was something did not exist in our “normal” lives. Complete strangers urging us to never give up. To give it everything we had. These special people teaching us that the words “I can’t” or “I’m scared” were not allowed. Almost immediately, we realized that these people truly cared about what we were doing. Not because we are such wonderful people who simply deserve the praise and support of othersJ, but rather because we were climbing. This wonderful sport was the common denominator and truly became the tie that binds. In a very short time, a new dream began to form and the path lead to Colorado, ROCK’n & JAM’n, and an exciting new world.
It is hard to explain how significant the impact of what we witnessed in those early years actually was, but some of you will understand. We will never forget watching Matt Lloyd on the lead cave at RJ 1. The seemingly effortless strength and fearlessness would stop you in your tracks, and we weren’t alone. We noticed that everyone in the gym would also stop to watch what seemed like the impossible. We will never forget watching Seth Lytton doing things on a campus board that did not seem humanly possible. It seemed that he had more strength in one of his fingers than we had in our whole body. We would return back east with stories of these super humans. We would try to explain to friends and family how this guy named Seth could defy gravity with only his fingertips. It was truly exciting.
Now, it seems that superhuman feats can be witnessed almost daily in the gyms. Whether it’s been members, staff, or professionals who have climbed in our gyms, we have been fortunate enough to witness some very special people doing some very inspiring things on our walls.
As we fast forward to the present, we can honestly sit here today and say that we made the right decision. We now know that our boys will grow up surrounded by these same wonderful people; people who embrace adventure, challenge, and fear. People who not only appreciate the beauty the world has to offer, but those who actually find a way to lay their hands on that beauty and reach some special perches that few people reach. I can’t imagine a better community to help with the growth and development of our children.
As we welcome 2015, we wanted to say thank you to everyone who has welcomed us into their lives. We know that there are other climbing gyms out there, and we are truly thankful for everyone who continues to choose us over other quality competition. The level of commitment and support the Denver climbing community has shown for our gyms means the world to us. Once again, we have complete strangers who support and encourage us every step of the way. We want everyone to know that we at ROCK’n & JAM’n will return the commitment. We can guarantee that the quality of our routes and the quality of your climbing experience will rival anyone in the industry. We are known for both the quality of our route setting and the quality of our climbing community, and we can commit to continue to provide this environment for as long as the Denver climbers will allow. We know that we will be able to fulfill this commitment because we are still surrounded by those same special people who continue to urge us to never give up, to give it everything we have, and who remind us that the words “I can’t” or “I’m scared” are still not allowed.
Thanks for a wonderful 2014 Denver,
Anna and Adrian Parker