Just Another Day

On New Years Eve I received a “Happy New Years,” message from a friend. I returned the gesture. I asked my friend what she was doing, and she said she was just going to play some bp. I didn’t have a clue what bp was, so I just asked if it was anything like badminton. I was quickly informed that it stands for beer pong. I was visiting with my mom and Grandpa waiting for the cheesecake in the oven to finish so I could start cooling it. My goal on New Years Eve was to be asleep be 11pm.

The alarm sounded at 4am on New Years day. I’d been on the go since Christmas Eve. On the 26th I left San Diego at 3am and headed up to Joshua Tree. It was my first visit to the park all season. It was the first real trip I’ve been on since I got hurt. After 4 climbing filled days, I left. My last day, December 30th, I broke camp early–losing my party–and climbed 41 pitches free solo. My finger tips and toes were red and purple, and the backs of my hands shredded and raw. It was time to go.

I made it home just in time to go get coffee and stay out way too late, and then woke up on the 31st, earlier than I’d wanted, and went bouldering. Honestly, I got spanked. Afterwards, laying on my bed I was dreading my continued obligations left for the day. Emotional meltdown incoming.

So I went to bed at 11:30am on New Years Eve. Not once did I feel like I was missing anything. I didn’t feel lonely. Instead, I was just focused on an alpine start and a solid morning of climbing with Sally before heading up to Jamul to throw down a feast for a family New Years celebration. 6 pitches in, I went adventure style veering left onsight over a roof clipping two bolts and gaining a steep 5.10 finger crack. I placed a yellow Alien cam and started up on solid finger locks. I reached high to a big edge with my left, and slotted a solid right hand jam. When I stepped up I felt a hot burning in my right hand and lost focus noticing the blood streaming from my hand and down my wrist and blew my foot. I dangled by my arms with two feet hanging in mid air looking at a 15 foot whipper. I jammed harder and cinched my body tight to regain my feet, and then my hand just blew out on the slippery blood and I went air born.

For the first time in days I felt psyched to be alive. I wiped my hand off as much as I could and went right back up knowing that my hands were too fucked off to jam, and just ignored the hand jam on the red point. There’s a first time for everything. 20 minutes later after 3 raps we were back on the ground looking to run up another few pitches. Not a soul around we enjoyed an empty crag in a still sleeping world. It’s New Years day to most, but to us it was just another day to climb.

We flew back down the trail elated, our friendship further cemented by the bonds of trust formed through climbing. We projected manic plans in the near future. Planned trips, and future projects. My hands are roasted, but I didn’t have any rest days listed in those plans.

I don’t do resolutions. I try to inventory on a regular basis, and when I see adjustments that need to be made, I try to implement solutions to those problems to improve myself. I think what’s cool about the 1st of the year is that it gives a tangible deadline for ambitious yet still attainable goals. This year my goal is to stop talking about doing things, and instead just doing those things. Instead of training for the climbing grade I want to climb, I’m just going to start climbing at grades that push my limits. Instead of planning to start a business or implement a healthy financial life, I’m going to start one.

I started it today, and I received my first client and a key to their pad. It’s funny how that shit works innit?

Author: saftythird

Defying convention

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