Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Ain't no mountain high enough

It’s been a long time since I have felt truly inspired. I have been doing CrossFit for almost 3 years without a break. It’s been my passion. It’s what I love. But I’ve recently found something that made me feel alive. And for the first time in a very long time, I believe I have found something new to grab on to.

Bouldering is rock climbing with no ropes. That simplifies it to an extreme, but that’s the quick definition. I went to the Vertical Club in Tacoma and tried it a few weeks ago. I was so intrigued that I dragged my friend Michelle with me to take a beginning bouldering class. I absolutely loved it.

What an experience. Totally new and different than anything I have ever tried. Challenging in a way that made me feel like my early days of CrossFit. I want to be good at it. What I know about climbing wouldn’t fill a thimble. But that doesn’t matter. The exciting part is the learning process. The journey.

I find it fascinating. There is a technical aspect. It’s like looking up at a puzzle and trying to solve it before you’ve touched the pieces. There is an emotional aspect. It’s scary and exhilarating and thought provoking.

It occurred to me that climbing up a wall is really a metaphor of life. You try and sometimes fail. You get up and try again. You make progress and you fall again. You walk away, regroup and try again. You know if you give up, you’ll never figure it out. You’ve left unfinished business on the table so to speak. You try again. And maybe that’s why I am so drawn to it. I can relate to the concept.

You’re at the bottom looking up at this wall in front of you. Staring up you’re trying to find your path. What is the best way to go? Will I make it? And just because you think you’ve found your way, doesn’t mean you’re going to get there. You can spend too much time in one spot. You don’t know which way to go, so you do nothing. You hang on until you can’t hang on any longer. Or you make a mistake. You’re at the bottom once again, looking up and trying to figure out how you will make it up the next try. Very much like life.

Most of us don’t start out with a plan and believe we are going to fail. We want so desperately to believe we can control the outcome if only we take the right steps. If we following the right path. Well, it doesn’t work that way. Life throws curve balls. You miss a foothold. You falter. You fall.

And unlike climbing, no one can tell you exactly what to do get where you want to go. Life isn’t a sport and sometimes you can’t figure it out. Time and time again, you might find that you simply cannot solve this particular puzzle.

Anyway, as I sat and watched people almost glide up the wall with such ease, I found myself thinking that, just like life, you can fight your way to the end, one ugly step after another, or you can keep trying to learn the skills to gracefully make your way to your destination.

I’m going to keep climbing. I’m going to keep learning. Searching for my “right” path. And when I fall, I will get up and try again. . .