My name is Przemek, I'm 40 this year and my problems aroused back in 2017 in December right before Christmas. I lost my job of that time, having a huge bank loan for a house that I bought for me and my ex partner. In January 2018, our son was born and I was out of work with bills and credit to pay. My son was born and I didn't want to stress my ex telling her about my situation, so I tried my best teaching languages to private students and companies just trying as hard as possible to provide for everything, which wasn't easy.
I was taking one loan after the other just to be able to pay for stuff for us to live, until the spiral got me. I barely could function back then, and at the end we ended up living with my parents at their house. But that was a real nightmare as they never accepted my ex and there was an ongoing fight between them all. That caused me to loose consciousness one day and I ended up at the local mental hospital, after which I was sent to another one for therapy. All together, I spent almost a year in both of them.
When I finished my hospitalisations, I went abroad to work as a caretaker of an elderly person for 3 months to earn money to be able to live. After I got back, it was the pandemic 2020 and it was then when I learned about the revitalisation of an old coal mine being turned into a climbing gym.
How did you start climbing?
The climbing gym finally opened it last year and that's where I got into climbing. I tried climbing on the outside wall, and although I felt scared, I did climb up and I will never forget that feeling. That was my first time ever and the view from the top was absolutely stunning — I knew that it's something I really wanted to go into and that this is a perfect sport for me!
I started going there regularly and loved the challenged I get while bouldering. It allows me to reset and figure out the best way to approach the problem — it is what makes me feel like a better person and finally be in peace with myself and everything that's in my head.
I recently got my first pair of climbing shoes and harness so I could try (roped) climbing. It was scary at first and took me a while to get used to the feeling of being safe on the wall while trusting the autobelay machines. But when I finally did, it took me to another level of changing myself into a better person.
What impact has climbing had on your life?
Climbing has really changed my life and helped immensely with seeing the light and the beauty around me. Anytime I feel anxious, I'm off to the climbing gym. After a good 🧗 and bouldering session, I'm in peace with myself and everything that's in my head
Crossing my comfort zones, fighting with my anxieties, inner demons and everything in my head, step by step, higher and higher it is absolutely the best therapy for me? It has helped me immensely with both physical and, most importantly, mental health and wellbeing.
Anytime I'm there climbing I feel in peace. Climbing and bouldering makes me a better, more peaceful, and stronger person. I wouldn't trade these two things for anything else because their therapeutic strength is absolutely not debatable.
Since my climbing gym is open I'm going there regularly, and I'm so happy to be working on my mental and physical health as often as I can. If you're feeling low, depressed, or that life hasn't turned out your way, find yourself a local climbing gym and go for it. It really is the best therapy!
What are some other things you do that you find most fulfilling?
I enjoy doing Crossfit, and of course, raising my son who will be 5 this year.
If you could tell the world one thing, what would it be?
Life is beautiful if you stop running. Stop and look at all the small, nice things that are all around you waiting to be noticed.
A positive mindset is the key to change how you approach everything in live. It took me a really long time to learn, but it was worth learning!
Is there something you're working on that you'd like to tell our community about? We love a good story.
Every single day I'm working on being the best version of myself, better than I was yesterday. I'm not trying to impress others, just working on improving myself.
Want to get to know more of the climbers in the amazing Dynamite Starfish community? Check out our archive of Climber Stories here.
We hope you have enjoyed these sneak peeks into climbers' lives. We're on a mission to share diverse stories about rock climbing. Let's push the boundaries of who we know as climbers. Let's use our energy and passion for the outdoors to love our environment and inspire one another.