“Climbing has taught me to appreciate everything beautiful outside.” Quote by an amazing destination climber….ummm, wait a minute, oh yeah that’s me, haha!
Well, yes haha, but not really. This is something I posted today on my Instagram account. After a sluggish Tuesday climbing session, I bounced back today with a strong climbing workout. Whilst leaving the gym, I noticed the amazing sunset, got an iPhone picture and shared it on Instagram and realized how much more I appreciate things in nature since I started climbing outside 4++ years ago. I was inspired to write this post today because my statement on Instagram actually dug deeper than the pretty picture and quote. On my ride home I started thinking, how has climbing really changed me? Good and bad? This is a witty, funny but real thanks to the “Climbing Gods”.
- Precious Climbing Angels – I met the most amazing friends I would have not otherwise met unless through climbing. I have so many precious friends I have met through climbing….“gotta get a credit curd” you know who y’all know who you are (haha). I am most grateful to the climbing Gods for all the beautiful friends you brought into my life. I love the climbing community and the friends I have made through climbing.
- PB&J – I have never made so many PB&Js since I started camping/climbing. Thank you climbing Gods for bringing this awesome “nutritious” item back into my life.
- Mi Tierra – I never knew Spain was a hidden gem, that is for rock climbing. My blood, my soul, my genes is all over Spain, but climbing brought new meaning to this country. I have seen so many places I would have not seen my whole childhood thanks to the damn Climbing Gods. I have tasted so many amazing foods & wines and seen so many unique villages thanks to climbing. I have seen so many sheep and goats and heard cowbells while hearing my own breath in the quietness of climbing hundreds and thousands of feet up, thanks to climbing. Thank you Climbing Gods for allowing me to see another side of Mi Espana.
- The Views – Climbing has taken this to a new level. I am a seeker of “overlook views” as a hiker. But when I get to the overlook, I am like “awwww how beautiful”. The Climbing Gods said “oh hell no, we are gonna take this overlook obsession to the new level bitches”. When I climb and go through an immense journey up a cliff and get to the top, anchor in and take the view, I have no words, no speech. No words can express the combined beauty of climbing up a rock, defying all odds, pushing through fears and challenges and reaching the top. The top summit vista from a climbing point of view is speechless, breathtaking and emotional all at the same time. I am forever grateful to those Climbing Gods for making me experience this unique yet so intimate encounter. I cannot explain it more other than “it is”. Only others that experience it can understand what I am saying here.
- My Personal Growth – I was once an elite gymnast whom had great dreams and unfortunately became married in a not so great marriage for 12 years. My dreams and self-esteem were crushed because I allowed it. When I got out of that situation, climbing came miraculously in my life. Those Climbing Gods must have been stalking me somehow (haha). Climbing took me back to my gymnastics. It reminded me that when I set my mind to something and work hard for it, I could do it. It reminded me that the sky is the limit. It reminded me to love myself and believe in myself again. I truly am forever grateful for this.
- The Obsession – Well this is good, but also bad. I was not planning on dreaming so much about climbing that I tighten up and apparently fist up at night while sleeping and my fingers go numb. Yes, I am officially calling it “climberitis”. I was not planning on obsessing so much that when I see my local gym post “new routes ready for the weekend” I cannot concentrate and make sure my ass gets to the gym to get “mines” before a date. Yes, I was late to a date today because I had to get “mines” or else I would not be able to sleep sound tonight. Dear Climbing Gods, you did good on this obsession thing, you stalk us, reel us in and we cannot ever stop thinking about your ass. I read guidebooks, drool over anything silver that jingles (aka, total gear whore), and cannot wait to climb anything. When I talk and joke, I use climbing as a frame of reference, and then realize only climbers get it, not real normal people. I learned to become skilled at turning off Climbing Doris to Social Normal Doris or else folks think I am a crazy, obsessed climbing chic. Wait, maybe I am….oh yeah cause I am obsessed and wake up with numbed fingers cause I dream about climbing cause…..well you get the drift. Anyone go through this? Yes I asked my male and female friends and have confirmed I am not alone in this.
- The Love Life – Dear Climbing Gods, due to that “obsession” detailed above, it has become impossible to live the American dream and have 3.2786 kids with a white picket fence and me cook snacks while the boys watch the game and be home slaving all weekend cause I am “obsessed” about climbing, gotta get the hell outdoors, climb or hike or kayak or something. I cannot date just anyone, it is so hard to date just any guy. I tried. I even made out with a guy while on a Sushi date and realized after he told me that climbing thing was kind of something I needed to grow out of, I realized oh no, 3.2786 kids with white picket fence, no not me, no not happening. I need a guy who is content with the outdoors and the fact I don’t have cable television, I love tents, smores, camp fires and reading a guide book and planning our agenda, that is climbing agenda. I love each night around the fire sharing our personal and spectator highlights and bonding as a group of friends. I want someone who is agrees that any vacation in a non-climbing destination as a pure hell sin. At my age, the great climbing guys are taken or the cute single guys are afraid to commit and the single guys after me are too young. I know, by following this way of life, I narrowed my inventory of guys who might want to marry me or I might want to even marry. Someday, it will come, but no, as a “charm filled” Brooklyn girl who is used to having many guys at her beckon call was definitely not prepared for her love life to suffer. It’s ok, but I am not happy you threw this challenge at me, how about another big climbing crux instead? (haha)
- The “Scaaaary” Part of Climbing – Whether we like it or not, climbing is dangerous. And the more you go outside and explore, as exciting as it sounds, the reality is that you increase the odds of injury, even if you are ultra safe. I have not experienced anything as some folks I know have been through and ain’t gonna claim it. But the few tiny things I have been exposed to have reminded me full force…..Doris, your ass is not invincible. Yes I know this is a fact, but sometimes, tiny things that happen like a random quick draw bounces from afar and hits your head reminds you to respect climbing. I love climbing but I also see that it is a hobby, I am not a professional climber and anytime I go out there and explore the world, I am putting my life at risk. No pessimism, just realism, it is what it is and I have committed to always be conservative and air the side of caution and always be as safe as possible. But I cannot guarantee anything and that is SCAAAARY sometimes to think about.
Bottom line, here is how it goes. Climbing has changed me in many ways, good and bad. I am forever grateful and cannot wait to continue growing as a person and as a climber. This post summarizes only an ounce of how climbing has affected me. Going into your weekend, think about how climbing has changed you. Appreciate, and hold it dear to your heart like I will.
Happy Weekend everyone!
“Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.” -Andre Gide