Climbing is time with friends

Climbing is time with friends. What do I mean by that? Well, it has several meanings to me. First, there are the people variety of friends. They encourage you and help you figure out beta when you need it and are there for you in that special relationship of camaraderie that binds climbers together. There are other friends that are present, though, that one might not notice. I consider the crags to be my friends, and yes, climbing is time spent with those friends. They are not enemies to be conquered. They offer up their secrets and lines and holds if you ask them. You have to build a relationship with them to be able to know them well enough for the conversation to continue. Crags can be shy. Some are bold and fearless. All are magnificent, though, no matter what their temperament or personality. Why? Because they allow you, the climber, to experience all they have to offer if you are honest with them. That’s all they ask for — honesty and consideration. Indoor climbing walls, though considered wholly artificial, are not. They, too, have personalities — those of the setters and designers. Treat them with the respect that you would any person. Study them. Get to know them as you would an outdoor wonder. You will be surprised at how it changes your frustrations to pleasure as you unlock the moves to a problem or route of any kind. Do you know what it really is? It is you pitted against yourself in a challenge over how you will handle the test. That’s what climbing is about mentally and physically. How you perceive and deal with the challenge set before you is entirely up to you. Frustration and an attitude that holds the wall or crag or boulder in the position of something to be conquered or taken as a trophy will get you nowhere. That is negative energy wasted on what will consume you later as anger and bitterness. You are your own best friend or your own worst enemy, or both. Focus on your potential. Concentrate not on what you cannot yet accomplish, but instead on the progress you have made. Look at the climbing challenge set before you as an opportunity to better yourself and your skills. Befriend the wall or crag or boulder, and you will soon see all that it has to offer you on your journey. Remember that it is a process — so enjoy it! Climbing should be fun!

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