Running. The elemental act of putting one foot in front of the other: rhythmic, effortless motion when it’s done right, grueling and difficult at times and — though this fact is lost to history — probably the first sport that humans ever competed against each other in.
Thirty minutes outside New York City, on the road to the Shawangunk Mountains in upstate New York, Anthony DeJesus turned to his travel companions and said this was the farthest he’d ever been outside the city. Born and raised in the Bronx, he’d joined a gang as a teenager and been incarcerated for dealing drugs by his 20th birthday. His outlook on life was as narrow as the space between the buildings and pavement that surrounded him.
Are rock climbers the future of the conservation movement? Brady Robinson, executive director of the Boulder-based Access Fund, thinks so. “At the very beginning, we were motivated by access threats, by our access [to climbing areas] being restricted,” Robinson says of his organization. “In my view, to do a good job with access, you have to do a good job with conservation. If the place isn’t taken care of, what good is it to have access to it?”