I’ll be honest. When I first heard that sport climbing was going to become part of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, I thought: "Really? Why?". Now I know.
It’s a truism that the more you learn about something or someone the more interesting it or they become.
And while in my experience that truism may not - yet - apply to e-sports, cricket, equestrianism, wine-tasting, cars, interesting routes taken by cars, Game of Thrones, Facebook, Robbie Williams, the poetry of Ezra Pound - I could go on…
OK, I will - Bruce Springsteen, Abba, Snow Patrol, Elton John, barbecues, split-times, Abba - did I already mention them? - Jeremy Clarkson, Love Island, Made In Chelsea, TOWIE, Emmerdale, the novels of Joseph Conrad and Charles Dickens (sorry Sir), Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the Daily Mail, the Kardashians, weight watching, toned abs, Premier League statistics…
Well I could go on further but probably best to call a halt there.Temporarily.
But - sport climbing. I’ve been remotely more and more interested in it over the course of the last couple of years - literally, following reports and then starting to watch live feeds of the action as it takes place in Switzerland, Russia, China, South Korea, Germany, the United States, Japan and Slovenia.
And there you have the first indicator. This is a truly global sport. People all over the world actually care about it and think about it.
To understand a sport, however, it is always vital to witness it first-hand. That is when and where the details come through.
I saw my first sport climbing event in real life at the Association of National Olympic Committees Beach Games in Doha last year. It was brilliant.
Until that stifling night at Doha’s Aspire Zone, for instance, I never knew that sport climbing involved men with brushes.
After each climber had made their attempt, successful or otherwise, to surmount the ingeniously configured routes set up under floodlights on a fiendishly faceted wall including numerous overhangs, they moved in with industrious haste to re-apply chalk on the holds with their brushes on long sticks.
The massively clued-up female announcer/commentator was offering relevant information related to the spectacle we were witnessing. Did we know that sport climbers would regularly conduct exercises for individual fingers?
For my part, I did not. And I found that idea fascinating. Every little finger counts towards Olympic glory.
At this point in the competition, five men had tried and failed to reach the top of the first task, all settling for reaching the zone.
Next up was Japan's wonderboy, 20-year-old 2018 world bouldering champion Kai Harada.
What could he do?
He reached the top like someone walking upstairs.
When you see someone doing that, on a climbing course that has previously confounded a series of top class athletes, it registers.
By the end of the competition there was a hint of anti-climax as Harada showed his disappointment at failing to secure a complete set of tops after the fourth task had defeated him.
But with three out of four he was champion no matter, with his Japanese team-mate Keita Watabe taking silver with two tops and three zones reached. Good omens for Tokyo 2020...
"I am very happy about the increased interest in climbing in Japan now that it is to be in the Tokyo Games," Harada told the assembled press pack - myself and one agency reporter.
As he stood there, clutching his medal and his regulation soft toy gift, you could only wonder at the impact he might soon have in his home country if, to employ a Beach Games-type metaphor, he could continue to surf the wave of success that reared up so unexpectedly at last year's Bouldering World Championships.
That said, the contending claims of Japan’s 23-year-old Tomoa Narasaki, who succeeded his younger compatriot as world bouldering champion last year, will add to the fascination.
Unlike lead climbing, or the electric challenge of speed climbing, the two other categories in this booming sport, bouldering does not involve towering heights. It is, instead, a matter of local challenges, unfeasible projections, sadistic stretches and wicked propositions.
The most fascinating aspect of the night’s competition was to witness how a succession of top operators set about exactly the same task – it seemed that no-one replicated each other’s approach. The physical demands of climbing are obvious, but this brought home the mental demands made upon competitors.
It was an education to become acquainted with the rhythm of the event. For instance, Switzerland’s aptly named 27-year-old Petra Klingler - world bouldering champion in 2016 - showed her experience after dropping down to ground zero just short of the top in one of her challenges.
It seemed as if she was beaten. Not so. She was merely re-calibrating before taking another huge charge at the task, reaching the summit with seconds to spare. This fine calculation is part of being a top sport climber.
Klingler, like Harada, has qualified for Tokyo 2020 where, awkwardly, for one Games only, the winner will be determined by a challenge that involves all three of the main climbing disciplines.
One leading climber has likened it to a track and field athlete being expected to run the 100 metres sprint, middle distance and marathon.
As it happens, Klingler has an unusual range, as she is also an experienced speed climber. But the idea that she will have a big advantage going into Tokyo is something with which she doesn't necessarily agree.
"It is a positive and a negative," she told me. "Although I have experience, I have got used to doing the same solutions in speed climbing. And so it is harder for me to adapt to the new challenges."
There was more interest being created by Harada’s female compatriot Miho Nonaka, winner of the 2019 world bouldering title, who had a novel response ready for a question about her imminent prospects for Tokyo 2020 - for which she had also qualified.
Asked about her hopes of success in sport climbing at her home Olympic Games, she responded: "I have no confidence. I have been doing bouldering, and only bouldering, for many years."
It’s one of the most unexpected and honest responses I have ever had from a sports person to one of my questions.
That said, she added with a slightly mysterious smile that she had been practising on her own speed wall.
How will she cope during the Games? Well, I suspect. And I am fascinated by the prospect of the competition.