I Boulder

10 Tue, 2011 § 5 Comments

I’m a boulderer;

or rather, I boulder.

[on Tranced Out & Dreaming in Ibex, Utah by David Finch]

Give me a rock with a few, fun, strenuous, limit moves, I’m content to fall off it for hours.

Sometimes, it doesn’t make sense.

Because I don’t like falling.

Actually, I don’t mind falling; it’s hitting the ground I dread, even from a short distance.  Considering the bad ankle sprain I earned after one of my first gym bouldering sessions, this is a reasonable fear.

Even before a boulder starts to approach true “high ball” status, I might burst into tears in my desperation to top out.  In these moments, I’d give anything not to hit the ground; I’d much rather be taking my fall tied into the end of a rope 60 feet up.

So why boulder?

Bouldering strips rock climbing to an even bearer, rawer state.  Little equipment is required.  If I was truly a purist, I’d be climbing naked, chalkless & shoeless.  Once I step up to the rock, “the mechanism clears”: it’s just me…the rock…my body…moving with the stone…yielding to its permanence…pushing the bounds of my own limits.  There is no physical reward at the “top” — no significant or measurable height achieved; no bird’s-eye view — only the victory of inner growth, the submission of the ego (beaten down by falling over & over again) & a connection with what is truly greater than all else.

Presence.

Bouldering isn’t the only rock climbing I do; but when I need to touch rock now, the most natural tug leads me out the door with a simple pair of shoes, a pad (or two or three) & a little chalk.

~

Where do you find presence?

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§ 5 Responses to I Boulder

  • dynamicfocus says:

    Love it! You can always learn something about yourself when you are pushed (or even better when you push yourself) to the limits of what you are able – or think you are able – to accomplish. You learn more about yourself in those few moments than a lifetime sitting at a desk.

  • Natalie says:

    What an incredible picture of you, Allie. I can’t wait to boulder with you!!

    Lately I’m having a very hard time finding presence, but I’m hoping that will return. Usually it’s with Zoey, just walking or being in nature.

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  • […] 16th, 2011 § Leave a Comment I thought I was a boulderer.  Does this really make […]

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