I climbed this morning and didn’t suffer any injuries or pain. That was nice, for a change. I actually felt really good after traversing and doing some laps on a problem of no particular color, alternating good feet with sketchy feet and doing the same with the handholds to an extent. I have to watch my left wrist and thumb – they’re still very weak and vulnerable. I tape them up good before every climbing session and it keeps them from hurting while I’m climbing. After I get done climbing, I leave the tape on for a little while to make sure that everything’s okay. Sometimes I feel like taping up when I’m not climbing, because they hurt the rest of the time, a 6 out of 10 on the pain scale most of the time. I’m must say, though, that I’m so thankful that I can still climb! Pain is a mindset as much as it is a nerve firing pain signals to your brain via physical and biochemical connections. I have times when I feel frustrated and outright angry that I hurt, but I have to remember how blessed I am to still have the function to be able to carry on my passion.
Pain is a funny thing. It can drive a person mad if you let it. It can make you feel sorry for yourself and mope around. It can cause clinical depression to set in. It can enrage you. It can impair your judgment and make you do things you wouldn’t normally do or say or think. Pain can do all of that. Over time, you become more vulnerable to it if you don’t recognize what it can do to you. You have to stay strong. So, to my fellow climbers and others who are in chronic pain from whatever is causing it, I understand. That doesn’t give you an excuse to give up, though, or to get hooked on self-medicating yourself into oblivion. If you’re on pain pills, take them as prescribed and ONLY as prescribed. Take it easy on the alcohol (I’d recommend NONE if you’re on meds). Go for a walk outside, especially if you don’t feel like it. Go to the climbing gym, climbers, even if you just watch others climb. It’s inspiring and it can help you recover your motivation. Pain can steal a lot of things from you if you let it. So don’t let it! Fight it with the things you love and enjoy, go out and make friends and hang out with them, and never let go of your identity. Don’t let pain erase who you are. YOU ARE NOT YOUR PAIN! You are so much more! Never give up!