I’ve climbed enough this week to have a few blisters where my calluses should be and where they were when I was climbing regularly. Yippeee! Calluses are a good sign. Truly. They are an indication to me that I am working hard enough, but not overdoing it (because they aren’t burst and weeping all over). “Slow and steady wins the race,” is the cliché, I believe, and it’s true.
I have been traversing using more difficult holds and making sure I maintain good form and technique in my climbing. As I said yesterday, I am beginning to work myself into the vertical again intstead of just the horizontal training of my style.
I was just talking to someone—a medical professional—yesterday who said she was so afraid of heights that she can’t even get too high on a ladder, and she worked construction for 10 years with that fear! Props to her for that, and I told her about traversing. She seemed genuinely interested in the prospect and it’s completely legitimate climbing—that’s how we practice our form and technique. I try to tell people that they can “climb” whether they are afraid or not because climbing, to me, is very empowering and very powerful. It’s hard work in the moment, every moment, for both my body and my mind for an extended period of time of my choosing. It continues until I eithe finish the problem or route at hand, until I fall, or until I give in. Beyond that, it lasts as long as I want to hike up and down approaches and climb that day. That is a mental task in itself. Climbing takes a lot of discipline, both mentally and physically, and I’m in love. I look at these blisters and I’m proud of them.