Ephemeral Destruction

 

 

This time around I did not return from my weekend climbing trip with visible scabs, bruises, and other such imperfections decorating my skin’s poetry. Instead, I came back with a black and blue confidence, gobi’d thoughts, and a heart broken open. My mind scattered itself all over my spirit, looking for the reasons why I cared so damn much. All I do is climb up and down rocks. Up and down. Up and down. Up and down.

Why is that so god damn important to me?

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Truth be told… my connection with the rock is the most important relationship in my life.  I feel like my climbing career holds the single most significance in my life. The all-encompassing lifestyle that is climbing showed a new way to breathe through this existence that I carry.

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I suppose weekends such as this past one hurt so much because I don’t know how to deal with something I feverishly adore being so stupid difficult.

Climbing in Rifle, Colorado, isn’t technical. It isn’t powerful. It’s fucking technopower.

Technopower – something I just do not possess at this time in my life. After my first awful experience in Rifle back in 2012, after I had only been climbing for a year, I swore off  Rifle, avoiding it like the plague. However, I made a promise to a friend that I would accompany her and give Rifle another chance. So I did.

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Mistake? I don’t necessarily think so… Feeling shut down? Inadequate? Mentally and physically pathetic? Definitely. After spending two consecutive weekends in Vedauwoo and now this past weekend in Rifle, I’m definitely sensitive to the feeling that I’m just not a climber.

Not a climber. Oof. That’s heavy.

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I absolutely love this relationship I have been cultivating over the past few years. I just wasn’t ready for it to destroy my psyche like that – again. However, that being said…maybe I need to face my discomfort with my relationship instead of running from it.  As a friend said to me, “It’s like holding a challenge in my hand, running my palms and fingers over it until it becomes familiar and smooth.”

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So instead of berating myself with riddles of self-doubt and a focus on all of my flaws, maybe I just need to approach my struggle from a different angle. Although, the thought of climbing at Rifle every weekend for the rest of the season feels absolutely deflating in this moment.

Perhaps I shall find the growth in this destruction.

“To share your weakness is to make yourself vulnerable; to make yourself vulnerable is to show your strength.” – Criss Jami

© /skin/ /ˈpōətrē/

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4 responses to “Ephemeral Destruction

  1. “Truth be told… my connection with the rock is the most important relationship in my life. I feel like my climbing career holds the single most significance in my life. The all-encompassing lifestyle that is climbing showed a new way to breathe through this existence that I carry.”

    That’s exactly how I feel about running. You were/are always so fantastic at articulating feelings.

  2. The rifle beatdown can be tough to grapple with. There have been many weekends I’ve spent there feeling inadequate and hopeless. Maybe it’s the hoards of mutants pissing all over my projects, or the cryptic, thuggy, greasy nature of the rock. I’ve had to scale back my expectations from ticking off routes to appreciating enigmatic sequences. Progress is measured by whether you figured out a move as opposed to how quickly a route went down. Previously I’ve been an onsight climber for the past 8-9 years – never revisit a route more than a few times. I do still love that mindset. Rifle really put me out of my comfort zone and showed me a different way to approach it. I used to take pride in how well I could read sequences on the fly, and rifle said ‘oh really? How bout now?!’ I don’t want to imply that you are dealing with the same feelings, just relating my own experiences of feeling dread or disappointment in that canyon.

    I hope to see you out there sometime soon! Come hang out with us by the campfire!

  3. Pingback: Climbing Masochism | Dirtbag Dreams·

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