Tuesday, April 22, 2008

a personal post regarding climbing

lately i've been thinking alot about climbing. this really isn't a surprise to most, but it's not what you might think.

it's not uncommon for my (and others) motivations to wane when it comes to climbing. there is definitely frenzy lately surrounding women's bouldering, with several strong and capable women sending inspiring problems all across the globe.

recently i got an email from an old friend, who posed the question to me why wasn't i one of the ones climbing v12.

the last year for me hasn't been completely void of good climbing, and i've done at least a couple of problems that i can say i'm proud of, however, overall, sometimes i just feel like going out and having fun. lately i like mixing it up with a few routes here and there, or just getting out to enjoy the day with friends and dogs.

it's not that i don't want to climb hard, or am no longer trying, but i just don't always feel the need to try the hardest problems all of the time. certainly there was a time when these were my motivations, and there is nothing wrong with that thinking- it certainly moves the sport forward. But, the downside is that it 'feeds the ego' as my friend Justin says, and wear down on the pure joys of what i love about climbing.

at times the pressures of maintaining ones 'position' in the climbing community or keeping sponsors happy can chip away at the simple pleasures found in a day wandering through the boulders. others' expectations, and your own at times, for what you "should" be able to do eventually can lead to frustration and depression if you don't always 'perform.' these expectations also come from within, and can be paralyzing at times.

i write this post mainly for myself, to verbalize some of my thoughts about this lifestyle that i love so much, but also to remind other climbers (if any read this blog anymore) to just go out and enjoy yourself sometimes.


shannon said...

Great post Melissa! Although I'm not by any means pushing the women's climbing standards, I've definitely struggled with similar issues. It's tough to want to push yourself and climb hard, while not losing sight of our reasons for climbing in the first place - that it's the greatest lifestyle/hobby/sport we've ever participated in. I went through a period a couple years into climbing during which I hit a major plateau and I think I totally lost sight of that - rather than being fun, I let climbing become frustrating and ego-based, and let me tell you, it often wasn't pretty(as I'm sure John can tell you).
It also sucks to deal with other people's expectations- I'm sure especially in your position.
Anyway, I could go on, but I just want to say that even if you bouldered V2 you would still be one of the best climbing buddies I've ever had - I always enjoy climbing with you and you're always super supportive of others, which is really what I'm looking for in my friends and climbing partners.
Miss you, let's climb sometime soon!

adam and melissa said...

And that, ladies and gents, is why I LOVE Shannon!

Yes, for sure, let's climb soon. I'm thinking Black Mountain this summer!!! Be there!!

Drew Holmes said...

amen brother....I mean sister. I have been through that route on many avenues and I am there. mountain biked raced last week and main goal was to have fun.....and I did. ENJOY