The Short of It
Competitive climber Rachael Farmer climbed rocks while pregnant with her daughter, Ellie. She and her husband, Zak, built a rock wall in the baby's room when she was 2 months old, and at 8 months, she was climbing it. Today, at 20 months old, the toddler is a regular at the rock climbing gym and has scaled a wall as high as 7 feet tall all by herself.
Ellie practices "bouldering," meaning she climbs without ropes. Her parents don't spot her unless she's more than 1 foot off the ground. It sounds dangerous, but when she falls, she tumbles into a soft crash pad. She's never gotten hurt while climbing, her parents say.
"She's very focused when she's climbing, actually," Rachael told Today Parents. "She's very focused on foot placement and getting to the top."
And the toddler seems to truly enjoy the activity. She spends 30 to 60 minutes at a time at the rock climbing gym, and she shows enthusiasm for climbing.
"When she does something successfully, she loves to celebrate," Rachael said. "She turns around, screams and claps."
I've got a 20-month-old at home, and while I can totally believe the climbing part—I regularly have to pull mine off stairs, stools, the kitchen table, you name it—I'm blown away by Ellie's determination and focus. Expect big things from this adventurous and ambitious toddler.
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