Monday, August 27, 2007

Finally at the top

August 26, 2007 - Sunday

Finally at the top
Current mood: happy

One of the benefits of living in Colorado is the amazing outdoor life. Everything is so beautiful. There is so much to do outside, hike, climb, explore. . . how could one ever be bored.

We have gone out rock climbing a few times since we have lived here. Since I had to get new shoes and a harness (mine are with the movers that STILL have not arrived), I have only participated the last two times. Both times were at Castlewood Canyon in Castle Rock (no not Stephen Kings Castle Rock).

Both times I was incredibly disappointed with myself. I am not making excuses but the rock is harder out here, not to mention a little more painful (at least the places we have gone to). So I have had climbers block. I would get about 1/4 way up the wall and just block, not be able to go any farther.

I realize part of it is the rough rock scares me, I mean when you fall on that and hit the wall. . . skin is coming off. Needless to say that makes one a little more hesitant to push ones self. Part of it is the nerves of climbing with new people. Especially since the new people and Mark are rockin it on the rock, where I am floundering. But the biggest part is hesitation. . . . hesitation is the root of all that is evil.

I have found in rock climbing that the minute you stop and think about it your path, your climb, your distance from the ground and all the other little factors surrounding you. . you freeze. The path seems harder, the rock seems harder. . . the fall . . . .well it definitely seems harder. So when you stop using the momentum to push you up that rock. . . when you hesitate to guess your next move. .. . well you tend to talk yourself out of it.

A new friend of ours is one of my "Rock Role Models". I wish I looked at the rocks the way he does. Not because he sees nooks and crannies I would never dream of holding on to in a million years (not that secure in my rock climbing). But because when the rock has started to defeat him, he sits back and says "damnit, I am going to get to the top". A couple of times he even stopped while being lowered and said "wait, how about this" and would try the wall one or two more times.

I was starting to become embarrassed. Because in essence not getting to the top during ANY of these climbs. . . well it makes me a quitter. I don't like being a quitter. Who does?

So on the last climb yesterday, using Michelle as my role model for this one (she is newer to climbing than I am, but when her brother says NO, try it this way. . .she tried. . . it doesn't always work out but sometimes it does. . like she became the layback queen on the last outing because she didn't quit) I decided I was going to make it to the top. Now granted this is not the hardest of climbs, but it requires one to do a technique that is called the "lay back". The lay back makes me nervous because basically you are smearing your feet (or putting one in a crack if you are lucky enough to have a crack big enough), sticking your hands in the crack and extending your arms leaning back and climbing the crack. I have NO faith in my upper body strength so this maneuver is not one that I felt comfortable with. As a matter of fact, every time Mark tried to teach it to me I would start to lay back and then quit. . .feeling uncomfortable.

But in order to make it up this climb, the lay back was necessary. So this time, without thinking about it, without hesitating. . . I laid back. .. . damn I laid back the entire way to the top. . . until I was able to touch the beiners. Not only that, but after a few other people climbed. . . I did again this time flying up the rock in under a minute. I was determined. . .not determined to look like a better climber, not determined to impress my peers. . . . but determined to impress myself by not hesitating and overcoming my fears.

Now, I am proud of myself, because I overcame something that was causing me to not enjoy myself at one of my favorite hobbies.

If my arms were not so damn sore. . . I would be back out there today, seeing what else I can overcome :)

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