Photo - Greg Epperson
Brian had a pretty cool post yesterday about Bucket Lists. I had a lot of fun reading everyones responses and it was one of the more interesting climbing related posts I've read in a long time.
The story aspect of climbing sites is what makes me come back for more. Jamie Emerson has had a few gems that keep me coming back in particular. Brian's experience on Sandstone Violence is a prime example of why I keep checking his stuff out. The more personal the experience the more I generally like to hear about it.
I think that's one reason why some of my posts come out a bit longer and more detailed than some people like. For me it's not the end result that's interesting but the process getting there. That process is so curious to me and says so much about what that person felt.
It's one of the reasons I love to read about Birthday Challenges. While I, generally, am terrible at the BC I love reading the reports. The sheer amount of suffering that goes into a challenge is staggering and I'm enamored with hearing about it.
Case in point. We went to the Boulders holiday party last weekend. It was a good time and I had fun hanging out with everyone. Now, the most interesting part of the night was hearing about Neuman's challenge that took place earlier in the day.
32 miles of running, some amount of Whiskey/Bourbon and to top it all off, the Culver's Chili Cheese Dog Challenge.
Three Chili Cheese dogs and 2 medium Concrete shakes. Normally it's followed by three laps around Culvers but we'll forgive that mistake as they had already ran 32 miles.
All this, completely off the couch. Neuman did one lone training run a week before the challenge. Proud. Possibly the best part was that his support team also did it off the couch. Talking to Skinner, who did 18 miles off the couch with 2 hours of sleep, was especially sobering. The dude could barely walk.
While I was reading the comments about Bucket Lists one in particular stuck out to me. It made me quickly realize how lucky I've been in my climbing life so far. Someone mentioned the Bachar-Yerian and it kind of hit home. I've stumbled into doing many routes that people consider lifetime goals. I went into many things fairly blind not knowing what I was getting into.
I've climbed El Cap and Half Dome(proper, not Snake Dike) without having any previous aid experience, learning along the way as I made mistakes. I've topped out Midnight Lightning before I knew that I wasn't "strong enough" to do it.
And my proudest moment came by doing the Bachar-Yerian first try, learning only afterwards who had gotten hurt on each pitch. Again, a lifelong goal realized before I knew just how special it really was.
There are always defining moments in peoples lives and all too often they pass by without us enjoying or cherishing them. We hear it all the time as climbers. The moments that make us who we are tend to suck. Fear seems to be an ever present motivator during the truly hard times and it's incredibly easy to forget the joy/fun we actually experienced as they get overshadowed rather easily.
Maybe the best part about looking back is that you can look past all the ugly stuff and remember the good stuff. Moments like that make me happy to be a climber, living the life we do.