“It’s okay to be scared; it just means you’re doing something really brave.” Jessica Gutzman definitely knows firsthand what it’s like to do something really brave. As a transfer student, Jessica came to San Diego State not knowing anyone. She decided that, in order to make friends, she needed to put herself out there and become a part of something where she could meet others. She signed up for a climbing class at the ARC’s rock wall and the class motivated her to start climbing every afternoon. The people she met at the
climbing wall inspired her to sign up for both Aztec Adventure’s Adventure Leadership and Intermediate Climbing classes, and now she’s helping other climbers out when they go out on excursions. She says that she was terrified of outdoor climbing at first. The fear of falling, even though she was completely strapped in and harnessed up, was hindering how she was allowing herself to perform. She decided the best way to overcome her fear of falling was to trust her harness and to just let go and fall. And so she did, allowing her harness to catch her and immediately letting the fear disappear.
Jessica describes her journey with Aztec Recreation as one that helped her overcome fears she didn’t know she had, and helped her make some of the closest friends she has. She believes that climbing and the relationships she’s made through it have made her a stronger, braver person as a whole. Her favorite memories all stem from her weekends spent with her climbing classes in the desert, hanging out with her climbing buds and “cinnamon roll hugging” afterwards (which is a giant group hug after 4 days of not showering). Outside of Aztec Adventures, Jessica lives well by keeping a healthy diet, taking frequent hikes, maintaining social relationships, and getting enough sleep every night. Jessica believes that her connections through the friends she’s made on campus will forever link her to San Diego State, and she is proud to be an Aztec for life.