About six weeks ago, I stopped a boulder from rolling off a small cliff and likely crushing some teenagers (long story). In the process, I injured my back, as apparently I wasn’t quite strong enough to stop a giant rock. Maybe I need to do more Cross Fit, boulder wrestling sounds like something they probably do.
Anyhow, over the past six weeks, I’ve been rehabbing this injury, which naturally brings with it some highs and lows. As human’s, we tend to have a disdain for change, even though it’s the only constant in our lives. Still, we like it much better when things are in our control, and an injury generally takes all that and turns it on its head. I wrote the following as a reminder to myself for those times when I get injured, that yep, I’ll get through it, and thought maybe it could give you some hope too.
You’re upset. It’s OK, you should be. You’ve invested a lot of time and energy into this thing, and to have it taken away, with so much uncertainty, it’s OK to feel the way you do. The first couple days, you might have a hard time letting go, of all the ambitions, the plans, the thoughts and dreams related to climbing and the future.
Don’t worry, though, because you WILL be able to let them go for now, and pretty quickly from what I’ve experienced in the past. Soon you’ll have a positive attitude again, because you realize life is more than climbing, and you are a person that is defined not by what you do, but how. And just like in climbing, the best way to get through this is to breathe, smile and keep moving.
I feel for you, I really do. And I hope you heal up quickly, because you don’t feel as alive anywhere else as you do pursuing adventure through climbing. But until then, don’t forget to laugh, smile, be kind to people and love your life. Because it’s still pretty amazing, and like Hayden says, it could always be worse, you could be a third world dog.