Thursday, March 20, 2008

Thursday, 20 March 2008 - Spring climbing

Dear God:

Today, I am thankful for spring climbing.

Springtime is the land awakening. The March winds are the morning yawn.
~Lewis Grizzard, Kathy Sue Loudermilk, I Love You

Spring cleaning chores beg relentlessly for my undivided attention. Today, however, spring climbing wins the battle between work and play. I vow to do twice as much cleaning tomorrow, weather permitting of course.

S, T and I head to Red Rock Canyon to celebrate spring. It's sunny and warm but very windy. As we hike into the canyon, we decide to climb the west wall named, The Whale - we'll be higher up, out of the wind, in the sun.

Also climbing this afternoon are two local "celebrities." They belong to the group I call "the usual suspects" - familiar faces from our climbing adventures. These two gentleman are extra special - they mapped and bolted most of our favorite Red Rock Canyon routes.

The reunion is short but lively - S, my husband the extrovert, ignites the conversation. We share details about our winter climbing exploits, other outdoor endeavors and general climbing news. SG confesses that, this year, his goal is to climb at least 366 pitches - an average of one per day. He's well on his way to achieving this goal. He just bagged his 86th pitch a few minutes ago.

Now, I'm usually good about setting personal goals. But, this year, I have yet to identify a specific climbing goal. Last year, S and I aspired to ascend at least one route on the challenging Wailing Wall (which we did, successfully). This year, I'm not so sure what I want to accomplish in bouldering, in sport climbing.

I do know this much, however: with each climb and with each fall, I want to improve my strategies, techniques and skills. I want to climb each crux with an invincible can do attitude. And, I want to match that can do attitude with the physical strength and athletic ability I've had all along but never fully expressed.

At age 54, I know that I'm no spring chicken. Still, on the rocks, canyon walls and boulders, I've yet to give my finest performance. Perhaps this will be my year to do just that.

For this blessing, I am grateful.


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