“You just gotta get after it!” seems to be the mantra of every climber I’ve met recently. My ex used to say it constantly and despite my best efforts to ignore most of the habits picked up from him this seems to be one that I can’t shake. I won’t blame him entirely for this though- I spend every waking moment moving- either doing school, work, going to the gym, or hanging out with friends. When I have a day off my first instinct is to get out and climb, I feel the need to make the most of those moments, to get new photos for instagram, this blog, to tick off new sends, to come home with great stories.
A few weeks ago I sat in my bed and cried because I was stuck without a climbing partner to go to the areas I wanted to climb at. I felt like a child. While in Utah there was only one day where I was left without a plan and I climbed by myself. The time before that, I went climbing with a guy I had known for under 12 hours. It got to the point where I would agree to climb with nearly anyone, just because I wanted to make the most of my time off and summer. With that same mentality, but without the drive of not knowing anyone, I sat in my room and contemplated how to achieve the same results- photos, stories, anything. A friend suggested hiking, which I hate. I thought about cleaning my room and car finally (half of my cross country sleeping set up is still in it), but that didn’t seem like a good story. So I sat and did nothing, which is also a pretty boring story.
I did not climb during those days and, in fact, I have only climbed outside once since leaving Utah. I was recently told that my request for full time at work was approved which means I won’t be climbing outside at all for the next several months. So how am I going to maintain my status as a real climber without “getting after it” in the wilderness? By reminding myself that there are more important things than climbing (crazy, I know). Climbing has meant so much to me and I have every intention of enjoying my free time once I’ve graduated, but until then I will remember that in order to protect these places I love, to continue my enjoyment of them, I have to finish school. In order to move back to the state that I can’t stop thinking about (it’s Utah, in case anyone had forgotten) I have to work and save money. I have to get after everything else in my life with the same wild abandon that I pursued climbing with this summer.
Climbing will not cease to be an important aspect of my life, it will just have to wait. Until then, we’ll all just have to suffer through my incessant through-backs on all the adventures I’ve had.