When believing otherwise is foolish

I have been chewing on this question the past few days.

Today I was walking the girls and breathing in the crisp, cool air;

sad and confused about the silence of this week and trying not to compare it to the silence of another time.

I was asked very adamantly to separate times past from times present and to not hold one accountable for the failings of another.

So I sucked in another deep breath of crisp, cool air and jumped about shaking hands and head while yelling,


I scared the girls.

To distract myself further I let my thoughts wander to my upcoming climbing date and it came to me:

Naiveté is believing in the outcome of something that you have no right to believe will occur. The benefit of the doubt is believing in the outcome of something that you have no right to believe will not occur.

During a good season when I am training hard and my mental focus is razor-sharp and my physical ability is being pushed to its max I am a 5.11 climber.

((To be clear, 5.11 on lead. I can TR 5.12 but TR is just practice)) 

It would be naive of me to rope up and expect a successful conclusion on a 5.14…

…but if I was feeling particularly sassy, properly energized and focussed turning my sights to a 5.12 would be giving myself the benefit of the doubt.

I have no reason to believe I can climb a 5.14 today. I don’t have the physical strength, endurance, or mental acuity that would be required. It won’t always be this way, but it is today. Believing otherwise would be foolish.

 I can top-rope 5.12. I have the physical strength and endurance necessary to send on the safe end of a rope just not the mental strength to do it on the sharp end. It won’t always be this way and today might very well be that day. I have no reason to believe that I would not succeed if today was the day I wished to try. Believing otherwise would be misplaced self-doubt.


Of course, as it turns out, more understanding of this shade of gray does not help me out of my quandary.

They say I was naive to believe a man meant what he said when he said that he loved me but he could not be with me.

Do I give a man the benefit of my doubt when he tells me not to question his interest while painful recovery keeps him from getting to know me in the way we should during the infancy of our acquaintance?

As I sit here, I wonder how foolish I look 

Note: My perspective around top-rope climbing versus lead climbing and the ratings of what I can and can not do are my own thoughts which extend no further than the standard to which I hold myself. I do not measure myself against others or others against me, not as a climber. Climbing is a beautiful, personal place where we each face our own demons in our own ways at our own speeds. I am mediocre but I love the sport and that’s all that matters.