After full days of work, last night ex-Chris and I headed out to our local climbing gym to help out with routesetting and route testing for a comp that happens this evening. We haven’t spent much time in the gym because of my stupid elbow and the fact that it’s actually nice outside, so when we have free time, we’re mostly spending it outside.
Since we haven’t been in the gym, I’ve forgotten how much I love it. Despite the chalk dust and dirt that gets into every crevace imaginable, there’s something about the gym that gives me a much-appreciated break from my weekday life. Weekends are generally great — playing outside, not thinking about work much, enjoying time with friends and family — but our weeks have gone back to revolving mostly around work and work-related commitments and obligations. That’s being a grown-up, there’s nothing wrong with it, and at least now that part of my life is happy — but it is nice to have somewhere to go, during the week, where I’m just an amateur climber and nobody pays attention to profession.
We’re generally surrounded by folks anywhere from a few years to more than a decade younger than us, which might contribute to the feeling of disconnectedness from the rest of my world… it’s encouraging to meet kids and young grown-ups who come from all sorts of different backgrounds and have all sorts of different religious and moral beliefs, but who come together over a sport and then assimilate to the associated way of life and become a quasi-tribe. The tenets are to (1) have fun; (2) laugh a lot; (3) climb hard; (4) eat and drink accordingly (and appropriately); and (5) learn from each other. And, the bottom line is that (for most of us) climbing is a social activity that requires partners. Perhaps that’s why, so often, I hear two young climbers sharing opposing views on a social or political issue, and the conversation ends with both (and everyone within earshot) nodding thoughtfully despite their disagreement. We count on each other, and “winning” an argument about politics is not worth losing a climbing partner.
Midnight bedtimes aren’t something I can do every day, but I’m thankful that we got to participate last night and excited to see how everybody does at the comp tonight. At the risk of sounding like a Vertical World ad, have fun, and climb on!
Categories: Rock Climbing
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