I started climbing with my dad when I was pretty little. He would show me his old steel gear from the 60s and 70s and I would beg him to take me up mountains. It has since grown from an innocent weekend activity with him into quite a beast. When I’m at work, it’s what I would rather be doing, when I can’t sleep at night it’s what keeps me up. After just a week back in town from a trip, I get scared I’ll never get to go climbing ever again, and mourn the deterioration of my callouses, muscles, and technique. All this spoken by a girl who lives 5 blocks from the climbing gym! In other words, climbing outside is really what turns me on. Especially if there are tall cliffs next to large bodies of cold water. I love the way real rock smells, and how that smell sticks to all my clothes and gear. The cold plunge after seals the deal. Climbing is a very cool way to celebrate our human-animalness. It is also the perfect excuse to travel, quit jobs, and turn off my cell phone.
Overall, I’d rather not be obsessed with climbing hard (although i have to admit that my body has never felt more alive and delightful than after a hard sport climb…..) than by the simple life it offers. I always return to the same old metaphors that climbing offers: Loving hard and fearlessly will get me somewhere.
I hope to let climbing be like a big, fat, slow-moving river carrying me through Life. Can’t go over it, can’t go under it, gotta go through it. And it will never dry up.