6 Wed, 2010 § 4 Comments
Dear 200-pound gorilla or jerk pulling on the rock right after it rains,
Stop breaking holds off of my projects! as I am not of strong enough character to shrug it off or simply laugh as I fall on my butt [over & over & over] attempting previously “mastered” moves.
Sincerely & gratefully yours,
If you happened across me climbing on certain days, you might stop & ask why I climb at all. You would first have to bring me out of my cursing stupor, & you may have to wait for the tears to subside before you would get an answer. You thought I loved climbing; but this is clearly not someone doing something she loves.
Sunday, I was consumed by the fact some idiot had broken a hold had broken off of my project, making it at least one entire grade more difficult & altering the sequence — even if only slighty — stoutly. This was more than a little frustrating, because I was ready for this climb. As I walked up to it, I knew it was in the bag. I would send it today, & it would mark my hardest problem sent to date.
Immediately something felt off: This isn’t how it starts, is it? Had I really weakened this much?! Several grunts, exasperated huffs & withheld screeches later, we spotted the broken slab of rock that used to be the starting hold & eventual key foot.
Well 1. that explains it; 2. now I cannot do it; 3. & it is all someone’s fault who is not me. [Man, my ego is good at this.]
Too often, my frustration results in tantrum throwing & blame shifting rather than accepting & seeing something for what it is.
The hold broke. Period.
No, it is gone. That is it.
Nothing short of a miracle will cause its re-materialization, so no more useless tears. Stop wasting energy cursing, complaining & making excuses. It is what it is. Just climb.
My most enjoyed climbing experiences are embraced playfully. It is quite impossible to imagine this cursing girl before you sometimes laughs when she falls or as she is experimenting with unsure movements on the rock. Though this is the approach I would love to adopt exclusively, sadly, it is currently the less common.
The level or grade of the climb or limit of my abilities has nothing to do with whether or not I will embrace it more joyfully. My attitude & frame of mind only determine this.
Black Keys’ Psychotic Girl played over the iPod at one point in the day. Though I have no clue what most of the lyrics say, the title felt painfully pointed. I needed to get over my insanity & face reality.
When the day is just not going quite like you planned, take a break & reassess.
Food is always a nice distraction.
On really active days — like climbing trips when we need fuel but do not want to waste a lot of time/energy digesting — whole, light foods are ideal, like this French Lentil & Honeycrisp Salad with a splash of bragg’s Raw Apple-Cider Vinegar.
Or these cute little…tomatoes?
Nope. Plums from Farmer’s Market. Delicious & fun as they “pop” in your mouth.
During your “break”, keep in mind that even if you did not realize you woke up on the wrong side of the bed but later in the day realize you are totally on the wrong side,
It is absolutely okay to call a redo; actually it is encouraged — especially by all who have had to deal with you up to this point in the day.
After a short, midday siesta, I was revived & ready for my redo.
Then back to face mine, with hopefully clearer perspective & attitude. Absolved of pre-conceived notions of failure & ready to simply see it for what it was, I could only send, right?
Not exactly, but I did work out the “new” sequence until my skin & fingers cried No More! More importantly, I finally allowed myself to enjoy the climb. What is life but this moment? If I cannot embrace & enjoy now — what is — then there is nothing else.
There are few things as rewarding as giving your all…then willing just a little bit more…leaving the crag raw, bloody & completely spent…defeated not by my mind or ego…but simply my body’s [pain ;)] threshold…& the magnitude of the rock.
Oh, I guess there was one more reward:
~Sweet Potato Pie~
& a moment to enjoy the openness of the salt pan.
An epiphany I once realized “on-the-mat” was establishing my intention for the day, activity, etc before beginning. This is an idea I am still processing & determining how to incorporate into climbing. It seems uncomplicated enough: I simply need to take a moment before climbing & establish my mood & the tone for the experience.
Has anyone ever integrated a similar approach? Please share!