Hiking Vertically

In my indoor gym I left this spring top roping 11c, leading 10d, and bouldering v3 (ratings tend to vary by location). Every summer I freeze my indoor gym membership. Every spring I think to myself, “I will climb just as much outside as I do inside.” Every summer I wimp out and get “busy”.

Three days ago, I unfroze my membership for the fall/winter. I started off the indoor season with a bouldering session. Thought for sure I would be back on v3s before the end of the night. I hopped on a v0 to warm up. My husband strolled up and casual asked if I would like a ladder to go with my v0 (he made it up to v4 last spring). We forgot how easy it is to lose muscle. Someone who shall remain unnamed climbed less than I did this summer. He almost made it to the top of a v2 this trip to the gym. 😉

The best part of climbing is being able to hang out with wonderful people, and improving. It is the biggest rush to do a route that was once impossible. Some of my best climbs have been ones that I struggled to reach the top. I could have given up so easily, instead I pushed myself to do something beyond my abilities. Even though I thought it was beyond me I still succeeded. Super cliché, but climbing is all about doing the best we can do. If that is bouldering a v0 (or a ladder) great! Everyone has a bad day, just like everyone has a good day.

It’s too easy to compare life where I left off. Picture a recovering drug addict (very good comparison for the average climbing enthusiast; they tend to be addicted to climbing). Common overdose scenarios happen when relapsing. The addict consumes the same amount they used to take before their recovery. The body not used to this amount anymore cannot deal with it. Is it healthy to consume the same amount of drugs as before? Definitely not. Is it healthy to consume less? Definitely not. Avoid drugs kids.

For me, now my goals to improve seem reachable! When I left this spring climbing 11c, did I picture I would be climbing a 12c anytime time soon? No way! However, climbing at a 10c level, I can totally get back up to the 11c! If I can improve my technique all I need is to gather more strength. I will be flying up those walls! I’m also working on having fun and experiencing the great outdoors. Since climbing outside is my favorite, experiencing other outdoor activities like backpacking, ice climbing, and hiking, are all things I want to explore.

While I define myself as a casual climber, I’m still obsessed with it. One time in college, my class was camping in a great area near St. George, Utah. We were so excited to climb in our down time-until the professor banned us from climbing. Instead we decided to spend our time hiking. Hiking vertically. 😉


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