Today I’m going to write something a little different. I try and make my posts honest and meaningful, and not just a listing of my climbing accomplishments or a step-by-step guide on how to train/climb/eat/be happy (if I knew the secrets to these things, I’d share them!). I share my experiences with climbing with the hopes that someone will read it and relate, or that maybe I’ll say something that might be significant to someone, or maybe by me sharing my frustrations, someone will be able to be a little less frustrated when faced with the same situation.
For some reason, this act of pulling onto rock with the goal of getting to the top means an awful lot to me. When I think about it logically, it seems kind of silly… Especially because I am just bouldering, it’s not like I am scaling the walls of Yosemite or testing my mental and physical abilities in the cracks of Indian Creek…
When I think a little harder, though, I realize that climbing is not just a sport to me, it’s so much more than that. Climbing has empowered me to embrace exactly who I am, and stop trying to be what others might want me to be. Climbing is where I go to escape. Climbing brings me to the most beautiful places I have ever been. Climbing has taught me to try hard, and when I fail, try harder. Climbing has introduced me to some of the most wonderful people I know.
To be completely honest though, climbing is not all sunsets and gorgeous mountains and topping out boulders… climbing has also made me cry, shut me down, put holes in my skin, made me yell out in frustration, and made me scared out of my mind… Climbing often makes me feel completely inadequate, too short, too heavy, too weak… the list goes on.
So why do I keep on giving so much of my energy and time to something that often makes me feel frustrated? Because, as with most things in life, you can’t truly appreciate the good times without also experiencing the bad. The times of frustration and ineptitude make the times of success feel that much better… There’s nothing quite like the feeling of satisfaction you get when you top out a boulder that had previously thrown you off and beat you down.
So this is my love letter to climbing. Even though we don’t always get along, you have given me a sense of purpose, made my body and my mind stronger, and introduced me to a world and a lifestyle that I will be forever grateful for. Thank you.