Thursday, October 15, 2009

Thursday, October 15, 2009 - A community of rock climbers

Dear God:

Today, I am thankful for a community of rock climbers.

The 2009 Reel Rock Film Tour came to town tonight, a big deal for the Colorado Springs climbing community. This year, the tour featured previews of two episodes of First Ascent: The Series, from National Geographic/Sender Films and the highly-anticipated, just released DVD, Progressions, from Big Up Productions. In Progressions, my climbing hero, American Chris Sharma, finally redpoints his Clark Mountain project, Jumbo Love (5.15b).

S and I attended with one of our Air Force Academy cadets. After Lacrosse practice, he rushed over to our house where we had pizza and orange juice waiting for him. We left on time and arrived at Colorado College's Armstrong Hall with time to spare (I'm a stickler for promptness).

As the crowd settled down, I looked around me, observing only a handful of baby boomers. No matter. For some reason, I didn't feel out of place sitting among a few hundred college kids. I actually felt that I belonged in the audience. After all, I am a rock climber and I support climbing events. And, despite my age, I laughed, groaned, cringed and applauded with everyone else as each film's story unfolded.

Many years ago, a man asked me to name the tribes to which I belonged. Only 30-something, I didn't really understand what he meant. I could only think of three "tribes": my birth family, my work colleagues and my neighbors.

Today - 20 years later - if he asked me the same question, I would answer with ease. I belong to many tribes - each one embracing an essential aspect of my identity. Of these, I am most proud of my affiliation with the tribe of writers and, of course, the tribe of rock climbers.

For this blessing, I am grateful.


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