My friend Lou told me about this “stress topo” that he did and it helped him work through his stress to “send the route”, so to speak. I think that is one of the coolest ideas ever, and couldn’t come at a better time in my life!!! So…what would my stress topo look like?
Well, first, we have to identify the stressors. Finances. Relationships of all sorts – friends, family, different family pods on top of just family. PTSD. Expectations, both of myself for me and of others for me. Boundaries. So what would each of these look like on a topo? PTSD would be the crag itself, part of life and the reason I began climbing (“because it’s there”). Finances would be a series of slopers and small crystals with a ledge to mantle over at the top of that vertical section, which would provide a good intermediate rest. Expectations and boundaries would be a tough overhanging section with some crack climbing to it, and boundaries would be hero jugs and kneebars in the midst of the crimps and pinches of various expectations – footholds here are tough to keep from cutting loose from and you really have to do some hard hand, finger, and foot-jamming here with a lot of torsion. Relationships, depending on which ones they are, would be traverses with many more-or-less difficult pockets and a lot of technical footwork along the way with an undercling or two on a vertical-to-slightly-slabby section leading into stemming a dihedral. The summit, well…continue stemming, I guess! I can’t see the summit yet, but happiness and security can be found along the way on this route with the help of my trusted belay partner, the Doc. Pure movement happens when I get on some good solid holds in the relationships section that provide no-hands rests and room to breathe. I can’t wait to draw this thing!!!