Two months. That’s how long it took to begin to decompress, to feel the stress and “need” of routine begin to fall away. Now we’re approaching the 6-month mark, and things are starting to click. The rigidity is falling away, perspective changing. This past month I began to see shapes in the clouds again, something I haven’t done since I was a child, and not for lack of trying. As a whole, space and time have become more conditional than physical measures. Seasons are matters of latitude and altitude.
Starting the trip while healing an injury set an interesting tone for me. I was forced to dial it down and examine my motivations. It was difficult to reconcile what my brain thought I should be climbing with what my broken body was actually capable of. I’ve always had a bit of trouble finding my groove in new areas, but Charlie told me that would get better being on the road and climbing full time, and he was right. There’s still an adjustment period, for sure, but it’s becoming shorter with every new crag. I’m more willing to work my way through grades knowing that there’s time. My injured shoulder is behaving well, and our six weeks in Last Chance yielded two 13c sends, which is more than I could have expected.
Now we’re climbing in the Hurricave, in southern Utah, and the process has begun again. The nature of this beast is more powerful, and that’s what winter is for. Weather dependent, we’ll play on these routes that work our weakness or boulder for the next few months, in training mode for spring goals. 2016 is Big Project Year for us, barring any unforeseens.
In January, Charlie rejoins the Petzl crew (not that he ever really left) as the oldest member of the North American team. At 60, he’s as strong as he’s ever been. 13+ is still standard fare for him, and the potential for 5.14 is high. How can I not try hard with that kind of inspiration?
P.S. I told Charlie I need pictures of him (“you”) for this post, and he said, “Pictures of a ewe?” Sheep. I need pictures of sheep.
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