In 2007, I fell in love.
My life was in a state of change and I may not have been clear on who I was but I knew who I wanted to be: the strong, courageous, and confident person I was climbing. I had no idea that I could be those things, really, I didn’t have a clue. I have learned so much about myself through climbing. I once felt weird and awkward and weak and shy, and sometimes, I do still feel that way. But when I’m climbing…oh man, when I’m climbing, I’m the best parts of me. I am strong and I am sure and I am beautiful and I am graceful. I know who I am and I know what I have to offer.
Climbing has taught me that nothing is impossible. I climb with men and women of all shapes and sizes and none of us will finish the same climb in the same way. To climb successfully you have to be keenly aware of yourself and your body. What works for you and what doesn’t. Sometimes you throw and sometimes you move ever so gracefully through the sequence of moves. Climbing is the real life application of the idea that you can achieve anything if you work hard enough.
Climbing is as much a mental sport as it is a physical one. I think the best way to be successful in climbing is to be okay with failing. Being okay with struggling, looking ugly, getting stumped. It’s all about the journey and what you can learn from each climb. It’s about letting go of expectations and self-doubt.
It’s also about the people. Your experience with the climb is personal. It’s just you and the wall. But climbing is rarely done alone. I was lucky enough to stumble upon a place full of people who love the sport, appreciate the struggle, and encourage each other every time we tie in.
It is not always pretty and it is always hard work but for me, it’s worth it. Completely and totally worth it.