Bouldering…I have forgotten my roots. Like a bleached blonde, i have been covering roots of where I started, why I climb, how I climb, and most importantly why I boulder. Lately, I've been "training" for route comps. Each day I go "training" I feel like it's a burden. I feel like it's not what I want, but what my coach wants. I started questioning my decision to be on a team this year. At first, it was to get stronger for bouldering season. After that ended, I rushed into route training. Nothing was for fun anymore. Everything had become all work and very little play. I felt as if I wasn't getting any stronger, but retrogressing towards what I used to be, what I worked so hard to not become was happening all over again. It came crashing back down tonight inside myself that nothing was happening correctly. Something was off. I wanted to break down, show my anger fully and let it all rage out. I held it together, just barely. I was tired, my back hurt, my head hurt, my eyes and fingers hurt. I wanted to just throw my towel in like I had been doing for weeks. Over the years, train rides have provided me with many thought-sessions. I thought about how I had been so caught up in grade chasing, I forgot what climbing was really about for me. It's not about grade chasing. Climbing to me has always been an adventure. You never know what to expect, even from routes you've done 10, 100, 1000 times. Holds break and the rock weathers over time. Even on things I have done over and over I notice something new about it. For me, climbing is about adventuring and exploring new and old places. I had lost my sense of adventure. I had become the epitome of the word "gym rat". Nothing was fun anymore. It felt more of something I HAD to do, rather than what I wanted to do.
Climbing isn't about being the best. Climbing is about going out, pushing your self to a new limit. You don't have to send to push yourself. Anytime you fall off something over and over you know you can do, you're at your limit pushing. As long as you keep trying and not have a doubt, you will send. There will be days when it feels hard but other days you might get far on a project, each time learning something new. There are no "working" days, you don't "work" a project. It's more of a "learning" process. you LEARN how to do certain moves and learn how you need to move your body in correspondence to the rhythm or a certain problem or route. This is what climb is for me. Climbing is about learning; learning how to move, but also learning how to move in your environment. If you don't notice the places you go and solely focus on the goal, you will surely be disappointed in where you will ended up. I say this because sure, you wanna top out or clip the anchors of your project. But is that really the ultimate and finale of a climb? I disagree by saying that noticing the journey makes the top much more rewarding than it would be if you didn't pay attention to where you where going.
Climbing is…everything. The dirt… the air… the scenery.