Growing up I was an elite gymnast and was accustomed to pushing myself, working out long hours and luckily, I was a natural. I performed well and won a lot. Climbing on the other hand, is a sport I learned much later in life. In my journey, I am finding out I have limitations and I am not ‘immortal’.
As of recent, these past 6 months, I was challenged with my finger injury and just as I am now beginning to take it to the next level, I woke up Thursday in a funky position and my knee is hurt. Not sure how it happened, but the reality is, after cragging Saturday, I had to without choice stay home Sunday and rest it.
It definitely has been a frustrating journey these past 6 months. The first climb I got on yesterday was an 11a, b or c (honestly can’t remember!), but in no way did I get it clean. And the toughest sequence, I was able to prove to myself I could lead into it, but backed down and went right to pass it. The whole climb up I was focused on proving to myself how much of it could I piece together and how little could I struggle, and boy it was a struggle. When I came down, my dear friend whom I love so very much basically told me she really did not care how well I climbed, but only cared that I was happy and that I too should just be happy I was out climbing and stop being so hard on myself. I realized at that moment that she was right.
6 months ago I got on my first real projects at Rumney and yesterday, I battled and struggled. That is something so hard to swallow that I am not as strong as I was 6 months ago and it is going to be a really slow process back. This is just the harsh reality of my journey, but I came out yesterday with a fresh, new perspective.
Here is what aligned my perspective in the right place. My best friend went through a super challenging year and half, so hard that my heart hurts every time I think about what she has had to battle. Climbing is something so dear to her heart and is something that when she engages in it, it helps her heart and soul. Kind of like what climbing does for a lot of us. She could not engage in much climbing and had to go face-to-face with some serious challenges. She finally has been able get to a better place and started climbing again and training smart.
Well yesterday she made it a goal to accomplish two things: (1) red point on TR a serious, burly 10c and (2) lead clean a 9+ that she has yearned to do for a few years. She achieved her goals with so much grace and finesse. It touched my heart to be there, support her, and witness it. In fact, it touched my heart so much that I forgot all about me and my performance, and so on. Somehow, all that disappeared and my heart was filled with pure joy for my dear friend. I realized at that moment that my perspective had to change. I have to take 10 steps back and re-align my thinking to where my climbing is today, in order to healthily get back to where I was 6 months ago. The rock is always there waiting for me, why rush to get there at any cost? I realized I need to throw my ego out the window, and take my time not to send hard again, but to build a climbing journey with grace, finesse and a healthy mind, body and soul. This is a truly big challenge for a former elite athlete who is highly competitive with herself but totally worth taking on.
So there you go, a busted finger and knee and having the privilege of watching someone special transform in their journey so gracefully inspired me get a new, healthy perspective.
And here is my journey with many more journals to come along the way!