Meet the Flailing Fossils

Jul 25, 2023

   PEG TV recently did a segment featuring one of Green Mountain Rock Climbing Center’s regular groups, the Flailing Fossils.
   Three times a week this group of older citizens meets at GMRCC to rock climb, but it’s much more than that. The Fossils create a tangible atmosphere of support where climbing is a celebration of body movement and of community.

   Owner Steve Lulek commented, “we teach about how balance is so important in climbing and in life, we teach about quality of movement , but it’s also about just a beautiful time of camaraderie in life and in support of each other, and its allowed every body to not only become stronger physically but more confident mentally as well”
   Green Mountain Rock Climbing certainly feels blessed to have a group like the Fossils who have found enjoyment,  entertainment, and self improvement in the sport of indoor rock climbing.
   There are many wonderful aspects to the sport of climbing, all very different from each other, yet all connected. There are aspects of movement of climbing that benefits the muscles and joints, there are social and emotional aspects of trust, and there is also happiness and enjoyment. The Flailing Fossils are a wonderful example of how all these aspects of rock climbing can come together in a truly unique life experience.
   The Fossils focus on intentional movement. Steve Lulek, Fossil member, says it’s about, “focusing on using climbing as an ability, to open up your hips, open up your joints, and to work on your tendons and muscles in the way that they were naturally made to be used.”
   The physical aspects of rock climbing are one attraction to the sport, but for the Fossils, the social and emotional aspects are just as crucial.
   Candy, who began climbing with the fossils two years ago shares, “We’ve just become really good friends, there’s just a really good atmosphere of camaraderie here.” For the Fossils, it’s also about slowing down and being in the moment with each other.
   The Fossils are a unique group of people, and they never leave the gym without a good laugh.
   “Having established this group we call the flailing fossils is really fun, we razz each other, we joke, we laugh, and we celebrate each other’s accomplishments, so it’s really fun,” says Dave, a Fossil member and outdoor climber.
   The social aspect of climbing is a wonderful tool. It is a way to connect with people, and it is an exercise of trust.
The Flailing Fossils group was created in the fall of 2020 as a way for the group to stay active. From there, the group has grown to mean something special to each of its members.
   “We cheer for each other when we’ve made a difficult climb. It’s just really been a wonderful experience making new friends and trusting the people I’m working with,” says Candy.
   Climbing is a truly unique and beautiful sport. It is both a mental and physical journey; it is a competition against oneself that can be shared and experienced with others.