“Battling” the fears

Bryan Battles is not your average senior

By Raechel Lites

Battles engages in his hobby, rock climbing
Battles engages in his hobby, rock climbing

In high school, students walk with their noses glued to phones and ear buds permanently embedded in their ears. They dreadfully make their way through a seemingly neverending cycle of education, stuck in a mold that they have unknowingly fallen into. But there’s one student who takes an ordinary day and turns it into a valuable lesson or a blessing – meet Bryan Battles.

“I used to be really boring and one day I was talking to my uncle, who is the most interesting person in my entire life, and he was telling a ton of stories that he had from when he was my age, just crazy stuff and I thought…that’s what I want, I wanted to have those memories to share and reminisce on when I’m older,” Battles said.

Battles began the journey of self-exploration discovering his greatest fear: heights.

“I started rock climbing because I was thinking about what I was afraid of, and what I was most afraid of was heights,” Battles said. “So I said I’m going to beat that fear in any way possible.” Battles and his friends were discussing what they were interested in and decided they wanted to go indoor rock climbing in Louisville which led to Battles’ realization that life is meant to be lived to the fullest.

“[My friends and I] met a guy there that went rock climbing outside, and he took us to Red River Gorge, Kentucky where we did a bunch of outdoor rock climbing and that’s how I got started. And then we started buying gear and spending a whole bunch of money on it and every weekend from then on I’ve just been going down to Red River Gorge and climbing down there and it’s one of the worlds most renowned place to climb because of the sandstone in the United States,” Battles said.

After Battles conquered his fear, he realized what a remarkable achievement he’d made and decided to involve new people.

“I always try to bring someone new into it because every time someone goes for the first time they’re always blown away and think it’s so awesome, but I usually go with Bryce Noonan, Luke Rhoades, Cameron Link and some of my other friends from around here.”

Although Battles uses rock climbing to face his fears, years later he still doesn’t feel invincible. Each time that Battles goes rock climbing he still gets the thrill he did from the first time.

“It’s absolutely terrifying and it’s honestly the scariest thing I’ve ever done in my life. What I really liked was the view from the walls and knowing that you did that all yourself and you pretty much conquered the wall,” Battles said. With Battles’ fearless attitude, he expressed on how important it was to him to take risks in your life.

“I don’t want to live a cookie cutter lifestyle, and I just don’t want to get bored with life because I feel like you can get stuck in certain situations and become a really boring person. I’m focused on living the high school life because once I’m out that’s it. I realized every second in your life you’re never going to relive it again and so I want to live it to the fullest.”

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