Member Spotlight: CT Rock Climbing Meetup
Sunnie Lovelace went rock climbing for the first time during a team building exercise for a college internship. She loved it, but wasn’t able to make it back before she graduated. After college, she dove right into grad school, taking courses online while working a full time job. For the next three years, breaks were few and far between – there wasn’t time for extracurriculars.
Three years later, Sunnie had one Masters degree and zero hobbies. In the evenings, for the first time in a long time, she found herself with time on her hands. “I remember being like, ‘Woah, free time, what is this?’” she recalls. “I found myself auditioning new hobbies.” She tried her hand at sewing and had a brief scrapbooking stint, but quickly lost interest. One day, she started poking around on Meetup, and stumbled across the CT Rock Climbing Meetup. The timing was perfect. “Since college I’d always wanted to get back into climbing.”
Going into her first Meetup, Sunnie was nervous.
“The thing about rock climbing,” she explains, “is that you can’t do it by yourself. You have to have somebody holding the rope, or you can’t get back down.”
Going to meet a group of strangers you’re relying on can be intimidating. “I’m not always great at asking for help,” she admits. It turned out she never had to. The Meetup welcomed Sunnie with open arms. “Everyone was just so nice. Within ten minutes, someone was offering to help me out and belay for me. Everyone was really encouraging.” She came back, and before she knew it, she was climbing with the Meetup every week.
The CT Rock Climbing Meetup filled a hole in Sunnie’s life. “I don’t want to overstate it,” she says, “but that rock climbing Meetup basically restored my faith in humanity.” The lack of camaraderie she’d felt throughout grad school disappeared. “Thanks to getting involved with a fantastic Meetup Group, rock climbing has been an important part of my life for the past six years. It’s more than just a hobby. It’s helped me become part of a community and given me strength to get through difficult times.”