Thursday, March 20, 2014

IN THE BEGINNING (are you smiling?)

It is seemingly universal across the board that once someone starts climbing, the psyche sets in immediately, & with all the media coverage of all the ‘young guns’ sending harder and harder rigs almost every month, being witness to a 12 year old warming up on your project in the gym, the desire to climb at/and up  your personal best wells up violently. We all want to climb hard, whatever that means; The definition of that various from individual to individual. From 5.10 to 5.14 and beyond, when broken down (regardless of what you hear via the interweb chatter and personalities) doesn’t matter one bit.
Lewis still having fun on lowly 'Mr. Slopey Washcloth' 5.8, Ophir Canyon
Simply stated, what is hard for one person is easy for another and visa versa. What matters is what YOU think. What matters is how you feel after clipping the chains on a route(s). When you are being lowered, are you smiling? Are you at peace? This, and only this, is what you should strive for.

Over the course of the next few months, as a matter of practicing & habitualizing my writing, I will be posting writings that are specific to my daily thinking. Training ideas, thoughts, mental practice on how to become a better person and climber; how to find the zenetopia that, in my belief, is inherently present in all of us.

Lewis after sending one of his projects at Choss Cave, 'Not the Warm Up', 5.12b
I am not a training guru; I have no background in physiology, or sports medicine, and my approach to training is hardly scientific. In-fact, my approach borders more on the spiritual side of mind, body, and soul. All I have are my experiences, & perhaps to some, I hold a great deal of naivety because of this. But it seems to work for me. I will never be sponsored. I will never be on the cover of some climbing rag, and perhaps, all my accomplishments can be read as ‘easy’ to others. Who cares? I can say one thing for sure:  that since my release from a rather strict and serious rehab (subsequent to 12 years of heavy heavy drug and alcohol use) I have progressed leaps and bounds, both physically and mentally. And because of my approach (I, like everyone else, slip. More than I would like to admit I will find myself frustrated, disgusted, at odds with the way I am internally over my inability to send a route), I am always smiling after clipping the chains to a route I climbed well and in accordance to my own personal ethics & style.

Get out there and climb! But never forget to smile after clipping the chains… even on a 5.7.

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