I wrote another journal entry on why I wanted to climb harder. It was written after I had been climbing for about two and a half years. It displays an increasing maturity towards climbing where previously I used to climb like a child, throwing a tantrum when I couldn’t complete a route I expected myself to.
Reasons to climb harder?
So that I may be stronger, more powerful, have greater endurance and stamina, and develop better technique on the wall.
What’s so important about these building on each of these aspects?
Well, firstly, what do all these attributes do for me? They open more doors to new and interesting routes. They reduce the fear factor of whether I can successfully complete the move. I become less afraid to lead because I have the confidence of “ability”. Both endurance and stamina allow me climb more routes in rapid succession so I can make the most of my limited time at the crag. Finally, technique helps me to conserve energy so that I may last longer on the wall.
It’s finally occurred to me that it all boils down to enrichment of my climbing experiences, which has in the past, too often been mistaken as desires for achievement.
I am glad that my climbing has reached a level of maturity where it is no longer about grades, who can climb better, or who can get further with less training. None of that matters because it’s all about me and the relationship I have with the wall. I appreciate the lessons of humility dealt to me by the crag because I’m afraid of growing arrogant if I can achieve too much, too quickly.
Other climbers can fill your head with airs and it is easy to become too full of myself because of what I can climb. When this happens, the pressures rises and expectations are formed of what I must be able to climb in order to maintain that elevated status in climbing. The fears of failure are exaggerated, and the simple pleasures of climbing become no more. I forget the love of standing at the base of the crag and looking up in awe at the humbling power of nature and her captivating beauty. And instead of intensifying my love for the sport, I develop an environment of diminishing delight.
I guess I can extend this example to other parts of my life. I have always strived to be better, but I have realized that there is no joy for me to be gained from my achievements because I have never been satisfied by them. I have been insatiable, with the need for more growing exponentially until I am no longer able to keep up with my desires. I remain unfulfilled and disgruntled with life. It is like chasing the proverbial pot of gold at the rainbow’s end, never stopping to admire the scenery because I was always fighting to get over the next hill.
A long time ago, I wrote that I climb to be emancipated from the daily grind, the corporate rat race. Along the way, I poisoned my climbing by bringing the chase into my solace. It has been too long since I have enjoyed the peace and tranquility within my private haven. Armed with this awareness, I hope to return with renewed senses.