“And That Day Changed My Life”: Without Ever Climbing a Rock, Troubled Young Man Found Solace Through the Dangerously Calming Sport

Published 12/26/2022, 6:00 PM EST

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Rock climbing is a sport that requires practice, passion, focus, and discipline. It’s as much a mental exercise as it’s a physical one. Not only this but completing your goal or reaching the summit can be a great serotonin kick as well. While some people don’t climb real rock surfaces, they still like to delve into artificial boulders or rock climbing arenas in gyms.

One such person is Oswaldo Zuniga, who is a rock climber and a YouTuber with over 150K subscribers. Zuniga creates content for his rock climbing community on YouTube to educate them about the sport. According to Zuniga, Rock Climbing changed his life.


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How Rock Climbing changed Zuniga’s life

Zuniga was depressed and drifting through life, without anything to look forward to. His life was in a rut. Then one day one of his friends asked him to tag along with him for bouldering. At first, he found the idea strange, even funny. But he gave in, and that choice changed his life forever. Zuniga recalls, “That’s, around that time my friend invited me out climbing and that day changed my life… As soon as I walked into this gym I felt different.”



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A post shared by Oswaldo Zuniga (@rockentry)

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Climbing to alleviate his depression was not something that came naturally to him. “I saw a lot of people trying very hard to just climb. And I was just thinking like why is it so important for them to like do these climbs.” However, he decided to take the leap, and once he did, his life was never the same. “And I remember right away I was like, I’m not sure what this really is, but it’s a really good feeling. And I want to come back.”, Zuniga recalls

The story of Rockentry: A climber is born

Oswaldo Zuniga was born and brought up in Mexico. Zuniga was a kid who didn’t need much, and that remained the same when he was growing up. However, when his family came to the States, they had to work hard to make ends meet. They moved into a difficult neighborhood in LA and while his parents worked very hard, they still did not have enough.


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It got better when he grew up, but life threw another curveball at Zuniga, one that sent him for a loop. His mother became sick with cancer, and Zuniga used all his savings to take care of her. The news was hard on him, because his best friend was fighting for her life. He says, “My depression started kicking in even more because I was spending money to take care of myself and my mom and I couldn’t handle it. I started, you know, being out of shape and I started drinking.”


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But climbing helped him find hope. Besides running his YouTube channel, he even wrote a book titled “The Crux: A Climber’s Search For Meaning In Sport, Death, and Change”, where he explores the philosophy of climbing, and what people can take from the sport and apply to their life. What do you think of Zuniga’s inspiring story? Let us know in the comments.


Written by:

Apoorva Behl


One take at a time

Apoorva Behl is a US Sports author for EssentiallySports. She has a Master's degree in Law from the Indian Law Institute, New Delhi. Besides being a lawyer, she has a passion for reading and a penchant for writing.
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Edited by:

Anupama Ghosh