Steep!

Red River Gorge Climbing Fall 2012 Season (1)

We’re just getting used to the climbing again in the Red, and having an awesome time doing it. It always takes some time to adjust, though I’m finding that the real period of post-climbing painful suffering shortens with each season I get under my belt here (yes!). So far, the weather’s been good, a little hot here and there, but I prefer that to rain, of course. Plus, it’s not that stifling humid kind of heat that makes holds feel like soap. The coolest thing for me right now has been rediscovering just how much I’ve learned to love the climbing here over these past few years. It’s an ongoing process, one that started with wanting to like this style of climbing (or any really steep sport climbing) but getting thoroughly bouted by it and not really liking it. That process continues, only now, I actually love this style and pretty much all steep and long sport climbs – so much so that it’s all I really want to do these days.

I find myself on this trip so far feeling more relaxed and detached from outcomes than I recall ever feeling about climbing, which means it’s something I’ve not felt for many, many years. Though I’ve sought this mind-logical-body-emotional connection so much, wanting so much to just enjoy the process and the moment of where I am now as opposed to always racing toward the future and never happy with how I’m climbing presently, I’ve finally felt this personally imposed tension dissipating over these last few months. I don’t honestly know exactly why this internal pressure has eased up and appears to be at long last washing away right now (because I’ve been trying to get rid of it for a long time), but it really has.

What it means is that I feel truly okay with whatever I climb here or whatever I don’t climb here this season, too. My list of routes I want to do here is so long that I’ll be lucky to ever complete them in my lifetime, which is why I’m already scheming about returning in the spring – well, only partly why. The other part is that a few days of climbing here have already made me feel reconnected to the sheer joy of rock climbing more deeply than anything else I’ve climbed this year. I love that feeling – so psyched for every day I climb, so into the rock and the features and all – and I just want to feel that level of excitement about rock climbing as much as I can, of course. To feel it always would be nice, but hey, you can’t have it all, right? :-)

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