At age 60, I’ve learned that everything in my life takes a little longer. Waking up in the morning. Preparing the aging muscles for a day of climbing. Accepting that I must rest longer between days of hard moves in order to red-point difficult routes. I’ve come to realize that climbing, much like life, has to be taken at a slower pace. It’s become a uniquely new, albeit still fun, methodical process as a result of my now advanced age.
The biggest advantage to being an old climber is that I’ve learned the importance of what it means to let go of expectations. By letting go, I’ve found out that I can actually hang on longer. It sounds oxymoronic, but in reality it is indeed a truism. As the Dalai Lama so aptly put it, “It’s a common mistake for humans to grasp.” We tend to want to hang on tightly to things like material possessions, family members, friendships and even life itself, all of which are impermanent. By learning to let go we free ourselves to think more clearly and enjoy every moment. We become more alive.
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