last night was the standard program; meet at the “office cracks”, scout out the open routes, and pick one. the options are somewhat endless, all though many are over my head, but I am attempting to not think that way. every outing seems to bring on a new challenge as we settle into summer. I have my comfort zone, which is well below the climbing ability of hubs and the peanut gallery (more on that later), so in the past few years I get a bit frustrated and sit on the sidelines. this year is going to be different. I had set the goals mentally with this blog of pushing myself, but I had yet to apply it to climbing.
the first bit of summer is always always rough; your toes hurt, shoes feel weird, you get pumped easily, and your skin always seems to bruise + bleed easily. if you don’t know me, let me preface this here: I AM A NOVICE CLIMBER. I am really good at following, I haven’t led a climb, although it’s a big goal of mine, and I rarely get to climb with other women (seriously if you are a chick and live in Truckee and climb… contact me). I only started to love the feeling of jamming last year, and this year I am just beginning to really balance-y climbs. my first attempt at trying something new was after watching the guys climb “THE PRINCIPLE,” and I gave-it-a-go myself. I tackled the start, making it past the first major rest point, only to get pumped after not understanding how to switch my body weight to make it to the next rest, but onto this week.
the curve ball of the week has been the unusual “Donner Summit 5.8,” which means the climb has a high chance of being awkward. last night’s climb was 5.10b: JAM SESSION. the route starts as 5.8, and that was the part that I was determined to conqueror, but first I panicked after two attempts. it starts kinda wide, you can practically lean back and scrum to get your balance less then a few feet from the ground. I grazed my forehead as I stood under the over hanging little horns, and got to a spot that I started to feel comfortable as I tried to understand the climb from a shorter persons (lacking monkey arms and height) perspective. about a minute later as I tried to match my feet… I ripped off and took a swing out and back, managed to not smack the rock on the way back, and was lowered. then repeated the whole process, and ripped off again. at that point I untied and parked it to watch the boys send the route again.
not feeling super confident, but pissed-off, I put my shoes back on for another attempt, because I wanted to push through. still feeling a little unsure, and not wanting to swing, I tried to suck it up and use my determination and chalky death grip to my advantage. I moved a little faster and figured out how you actually have to stem and switch side to side, while finding my own finger locks. there was a little grunting, because I was getting tried, but there were some awesome no hands rests as I worked my way up.
the important part: all in all, I wanted to give up on the third try. I said multiple times, “I don’t like this,” and “I feel like…” which thinking about it now, I was being weak. I have made it up much harder things, because I told myself I could do it. I almost, made it easier for myself to give up then try, but I am thankful for the nudges that I always get. the reminders to give it one more try, and just see where you get to. the just do it, and remember to smile.
// spot: snow shed on donner summit | camera: iPhone 6 //