That was beautiful. I’ve never felt so one hundred percent Present in a climb. Noting every foot and hand placement. A running dialogue in my head noting how I must “turn my hip properly on the next move. Find that micro foot. I can make that next clip. Man I’m feeling good. Feeling the grip and ah, there’s that dimple. Okay, I can easily make that next move now. How beautiful is this climb? The flow of the moves, the journey it takes you through.”
And all the while, appreciating the myriad of moments that were interwoven to lead up to this one. From my friendship with Brigitte which had brought us to Oudtshoorn this weekend to visit her (Cape Town hasn’t been the same for me since she moved to Plett), to the suggested warm up because my friend wanted a top rope on her project, to the snow yesterday that prompted a forced rest day. And as much as we moaned about the cold we were awestruck by the beauty of the Swartberg pass covered in snow and giggled at the fuzzy frost covering everything that morning.
I was watching one of my friends climb the previous day and could see he was totally focused on the crux of his route. He didn’t care if he was sloppy or burning energy on the way up to it. As much as we tell ourselves we can recover in the rest before a crux, it struck me how important it was to get the lead up right. This encouraged me to focus on every move.
Besides that, in the quiet moments of the morning or during long drives I have been contemplating, listening to podcasts, reading – all about living in the now, about letting go of the past in the hopes that I could heal and forgive and move on with a heart that is whole. This is on the back end of 2 years of contemplation, struggle and evolution as I deal with a different phase in my life. And in that journey to the chains I felt it in the most tangible way. Once again climbing had shone a physical light on a spiritual and mental path.
It was the most thrilling experience of my year. To be so fully immersed in the beauty of each moment. And pushing pushing pushing. Looking up and seeing the draws stretching off for many meters above me and, instead of feeling even a little bit daunted, I simply felt the thrill of the challenge.