Senior Simonian climbs to the precipice

Senior Sarah Simonian tries to grab hold of the rock climbing wall she is currently scaling. However, she can’t get a proper grip and slips. Her harness protects her from the 20 foot fall.

“The first time I went rock climbing, I was trying to climb a wall, but I couldn’t get to the top,” she said. “I fell, which was actually really scary.”

During the summer before her senior year, Simonian began what would soon become a feverish hobby of rock climbing.

“I was actually just really bored one day so I decided to try rock climbing at On the Edge,” she said.

Simonian climbed more and more during the summer, until climbing eventually developed into a habit — and the focus for her Senior Project.

“By the end of summer I was going rock climbing a lot, and I needed a Senior Project,” she said. “I figured I would just do something with rock-climbing as the focus.”

Because of the required “learning stretch” for the Senior Project, Simonian decided to extend her hobby of climbing to participating in rock climbing contests, at Melbourne’s On the Edge and at another rock-climbing center in Orlando.

“I participated in two climbing competitions,” she said. “I didn’t think I did too well in either of them, but I placed second at both.”

During the second of the competitions, Simonian faced some difficulties.

“When the competition started, all the easy routes were already taken, so I decided to try one of the hardest routes,” she said. “I made it about halfway before I fell off.”

However, Simonian persevered.

“So I tried the route again,” she said. “When I got to the point where I had fallen, I stopped and took a deep breath before I continued. I finished the route and felt so accomplished.”

One of Simonian’s friends, Danielle Jerdon, appears positive about Simonian’s growing passion.

“I think it’s cool Sarah found a hobby she really loves and was able to focus her Senior Project around it,” Jerdon said. “I’ve gone climbing with her twice, and it’s really a fun way to exercise.”

Simonian has decided that she will keep up rock climbing, even though her Senior Project has been completed.

“I really enjoy it,” she said. “It’s addicting almost. There’s a wall and you can’t climb it, so you try try and try again until you finally succeed. That’s what I love about it.”

By David Anderson