Trying Hard (In Life)

I loved this line from Justin Roth’s recent piece “Everyday Climbing” over at the Stone Mind:

All at once it was clear that the boundary between “life” and “climbing” is actually quite fuzzy, if not imaginary, and that we probably should resist the urge to divide the two. It made sense to me that we should climb as if eating breakfast — just an everyday thing. Also, we should live our everyday lives as if climbing in some wild place — it is an extraordinary thing.

We often try to separate the two, and this really came into focus for me after spending a week in Indian Creek recently. On our last day, after mostly climbing moderates all trip, I had the chance to get on a climb that was really challenging for me, ringlocks almost the entire way, and I had to try HARD. Screaming, yelling, trying to keep my core tight, torquing my elbows as hard as I could, pushing as much rubber from my toe into the crack as possible. It was full value, and it felt good to experience the raw emotion and power of giving all that I had.

Reflecting on my effort afterward, I realized I’d reached this place where I was trying hard at climbing, but not necessarily bringing that same level of commitment, focus and desire to the other areas of my life. I’d been sucked into a routine that resembled a day of casual cragging, getting things done, but with little intensity. It was an abrupt wake up call to realize, hey, here’s an area of your life you need to improve in right now.

I’ve often written on here about the importance of connecting climbing to other things in life, and how there is so much you can get from it, if we are willing to be reflective and put together the pieces. All I did was go out and try a hard rock climb, but the end result has been a desire to change my attitude, for the better, in every aspect of my life.

One Response to Trying Hard (In Life)

  1. Thanks BJ.

    John Smollen October 15, 2013 at 1:32 pm
Locals Corner

Bulldog Creek Dog Walk (IV WI 4+)

Hayden Carpenter and Tom Bohanon recently repeated an obscure ice climb on the south side of Mt Sopris. Given a brief mention in Jack Robert’s ice guide, Bulldog Creek Walk is described as being 100 meters of WI 4. What they found was seven pitches of ice in a remote setting that makes for one […]

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