Joys of Climbing

I had a great climbing day today.  I persevered through some difficult routes I had failed on before, and finally sent them.  My climbing partner is nursing an ankle injury, so I was able to climb more and I pulled off some impressive moves.  The weather was perfect, the moves flowed intuitively and for the most part, my fear of falling stayed at a reasonable level.

I love rock climbing.

Bouldering is actually what I spend 95% of my time doing.  It’s the most economical form of climbing.  Just shoes, chalk, and some crash pads.  My friends prefer bouldering exclusively, but I’m hoping to add ropes in my very near future.  I like route climbing, and there are a lot more routes within my ability than there are boulder problems.  Bouldering requires a lot more upper boy strength.

I’ve only been climbing for about two years, and I admit to slacking off periodically.  Making progress in my climbing ability has been slow going, but I’m finally at a point where I feel like I’m taking it to the next level.  My strength is increasing, my endurance is improving, and I’m finally starting to get some of my fears and mental blocks under control.

The mental aspects of rock climbing separate it from most other activities.  It’s scary… you could fall!  All of your attention is required to move up the rocks without shredding your whatever, or landing on your head…you cannot allow outside thoughts to creep in.  It’s like a moving meditation.  When I’m in that zone, and the rock feels good, and my body seems to know just how to move, it’s an exhilarating experience.  Topping off is the icing on the cake…the sense of pride as you make that last move…on a problem you couldn’t finish a few weeks ago.

There’s nothing like it.  I swear it keeps me sane.

So now I’m a little sore in the wrist and upper back.  Several layers of my fingertips have worn away.  My shins are scratched up from all of the picker bushes I barely saw. (Where I live, you sometimes have to walk through some rough stuff to get to the rock).  I have a slight brush burn from sliding down a rock on my stomach.  My toes are killing me from wearing my climbing shoes all day.  This may sound like torture, but this is all pretty routine for a productive climbing day.  I really wouldn’t have it any other way…I really love rock climbing.  It was an awesome day.

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