That climb yesterday was so badly needed!!! I’m just a little stiff today, but I feel so much better! I missed climbing. Being out of climbing from being sick for a month took a heavy toll on my body, and my mind as well. I was so depressed! Yesterday, when I sent that V0, it might not seem like that should’ve been something to be excited about, but it was!!! As weak as I am right now, that was amazing! And in my brand new La Sportiva Skwama climbing shoes!!! The best part was overshooting that high foot!!! Wow, I actually overshot a high foot instead of not getting it high enough! I don’t think that’s ever happened before! I was all excited to climb today when I woke up…and then I realized it’s Monday. The climbing gym is closed for route setting on Mondays. So I can only reminisce about yesterday’s successes, but that’s fun, too! That’s the first problem I’ve sent in a long while!!! I had a good time with that orange dihedral stemming problem upstairs in Boulderland that finished with the baboon head while it was up, but that was before I got sick and before the 2018 Montana Bouldering Championships competition. There are a lot of problems that I want to attempt up and I hope I get to try them all before they reset the walls again. I haven’t really gotten a chance to look at all of them because it’s only been a couple of days that I’ve been back to the climbing gym. Since I’m basically starting over at the beginning, I’ll be working a lot on the V0’s and V1’s with my technique and footwork, trying to get back into the groove and break in these new climbing shoes the way I want them. Emily and Taylor both encouraged me that setbacks happen and it’s okay to have to start over. Emily says it’s for the better. That doesn’t mean it’s not frustrating, but that’s all part of it, I guess.
As far as roped routes go, I’ll have to get my endurance back and learn to rest properly and push myself harder when I feel like letting go. That’s a difficult one. One of my psychotropic medications is responsible for that. Without that particular medication, I’m incredibly hard-driven and tenacious – there’s no way I’d let go for any reason. Ever. I’m also a holy wreck from the extremes of PTSD without that medication and can’t function like you would expect a civil person to function. Fighting it is futile because fighting the effects of a medication is frustrating, and that’s not what I’m there to do. Climbing is my distress tolerance and emotion regulation skill set, not my cause-more-distress skill set, haha! I’ve tried going without this medication and it just doesn’t work. I don’t behave like a human being without it – you would truly recognize me as being crazier than a squirrel in a cage if you saw me without that medication!!! It would solve some of my weight gain problems because I’d never stop bouncing off the walls, but it wouldn’t make me able to deal with emotions in any way. Everything would be so extreme, especially anger, that it would be unreal and you’d never believe that a member of the Homo sapiens sapiens species could behave the way I do without that medication to pull the outer limits of the spectrum in for me. I’m still capable of strong emotions, but this medication keeps them within range of recovery without overly-negative consequences of interventions. So I’ll fight the weight gain, I guess. I know I could get back down to my slim, fit 124 lbs if I wasn’t on all of this medication, but I’d be a mental wreck. I’d rather have a quality mental health life, if you know what I mean. Happiness is worth so much!!! Who thought I’d ever have a successful climbing blog? Who thought I’d ever find something as fantastic and healthy as climbing to oust the stress with?
When people find out I’m a rock climber (the second sentence out of my mouth, most times, after my name in an introduction), they look at me funny. I know I’m not your typical vision of a rock climber. Most people take a step back and give me that “you’re joking, right?” look. I proceed to tell them how much fun it is and how it’s saved my life. Once they realize that I’m serious, they’re often intrigued and left in a state of confused interest. Having a Master of Science in Psychology is fun, because I can read these things in people and interact accordingly, depending on where I want the conversation to go. It’s actually fun, and I try to impress upon people how important it is to get outside and enjoy nature, and how important it is to protect our natural areas so that we can all enjoy nature’s special healing touch and the relief from stress that it offers. Most, if not all, people can relate to the need to relieve stress. There’s way too much of it in the world. Unfortunately, it’s one of the things we all have in common. I don’t know of anyone who doesn’t feel stress to some degree – often a severe one. A day out in nature climbing does so much to restore your energy and your sense of well-being! Trust me. Try it! See – the salesmanship part of that is easy because it’s true!!! I should go through my climbing guides today and pick out some routes I want to climb… Yes!!!