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HF HEALTH + FITNESS CLIMB TULSA PROVIDES A FULL RANGE OF CLIMBING OPTIONS DESIGNED SO THAT PEOPLE CAN EXPLORE, FIND THEIR HAPPY PLACE, AND BE INSPIRED TO ATTAIN NEW HEIGHTS IN PERSONAL AND PHYSICAL DEVELOPMENT. BY MICHELE CHIAPPETTA PHOTOS BY SARAH ELIZA ROBERTS It starts when you’re a kid. You climb to the top of a hill, explore the rock stairs at your neighborhood park, or hoist your way to the top of the jungle gym. Before you know it, the act of climbing is in your blood. Or at least, that’s what Americans seem to be feeling, because a growing number of them — more than 35 million — are scrambling up indoor rock walls or tackling outdoor rock climbing spots around the country. Sport climbing is even an official Olympic sport, scheduled for its debut in 2020.

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So, it isn’t that unusual that Tulsa would have its own climbing gym — straightforwardly named Climb Tulsa. What’s intriguing and appealing, though, is how dedicated its owner, Jason Burks, is to ensuring Green Country residents and visitors get a cutting-edge experience at his gym, as well as exposure to a sport that can easily be taken outdoors into the beauty of nature. Everything happening at Climb Tulsa ties into Burks’ love for climbing and his desire to share that love with fellow Tulsans. “I’ve always loved climbing,” he says. “When I was 21, I started mountaineering a lot in Colorado. Ever since then, every summer, I’ve climbed a couple of mountains out in Colorado or Wyoming.” Soon, he found himself hooked on climbing rock face too. His passion lit, Burks returned to Tulsa with a goal to work on

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climbing techniques even when he wasn’t on a trip out of state. He found a local climbing gym (previously known as New Heights) and started training there, with its tight-knit community of members. When he discovered the existing owner was interested in selling, it didn’t take long for Burks to buy it. In the two years since he’s owned the gym, the membership has doubled or tripled, he says. Climb Tulsa draws people from all walks of life and all age groups. “It’s one of the sports that covers the gamut,” says Burks. “But one thing I see that is common is that it is people who are very intentional. Climbing is one of those things that you have to trust yourself. You have to engage in cognitive thinking. It attracts problem-solvers.” Lest you think climbing is only for people obsessed with nature or super-fit with six-pack abs, think again. “It’s not all these hyper outdoors people, like people want to think,” says Burks. “It’s people who enjoy being in shape and enjoy things that challenge their brain.” Beginners don’t have to be afraid to get started. The gym is friendly, and offers classes and one-onone sessions for those who want the added coaching. There’s a first-timers section on Climb Tulsa’s website to answer some initial questions for newbies. And everyone is encouraging, says Burks. “In climbing, it’s not you against someone else,” he says. “It’s you

May 2018 (Vol. 32, No. 5)  

Where to Dine. What to Do. Where to Find It. When It's Happening. Preview 918 A regional magazine of national stature, Preview 918 has rema...

May 2018 (Vol. 32, No. 5)  

Where to Dine. What to Do. Where to Find It. When It's Happening. Preview 918 A regional magazine of national stature, Preview 918 has rema...