Refusing to succumb to laziness and indolence despite the nationwide coronavirus lockdown, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki medical student and avid rock climber Manthos Valsamidis transformed his home into an indoor rock climbing facility during the month of November.
Valsamidis, a medical student and a member of Greece’s National Climbing Team, began the sport by chance ten years ago, when rock climbing facilities began to open in his hometown of Xanthi, in northeastern Greece.
A natural athlete who had been physically active from childhood, Valsamidis quickly entered international rock climbing competitions, and realized that the sport was perfect fo him after performing exceptionally well in them.
Greece’s first lockdown last spring was difficult for Valsamidis, who stayed at his family home in Xanthi, as he couldn’t practice rock climbing at home and was “always out of the house — going to school, working out, and studying in the library” before being stuck inside.
But he made the best of it. Even though he couldn’t train for his favorite sport, he tried his hardest to keep in shape. Still, despite his efforts, Valsamidis noticed a marked difference in his performance when he picked up the difficult, technically demanding sport once again post-lockdown.
So, once rumors of a second lockdown began to spread in October, Valsamidis took it upon himself to construct a rock climbing wall in his living room back in Thessaloniki, so he could keep up with his training.
Now, Valsamidis can make the most of his time at home and keep his skills sharp by climbing up the side of his living room, using the many brackets and blocks of wood that he screwed into the wall — which has a difficult inward-facing slant.
“I sacrificed an entire room of my house, but I’m sure that I’ve made a good investment… now I can train fully at home,” Valsamidis stated proudly to interviewers from AMNA.