Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder
“I give up. You won this battle.”
The drive to the crag is always filled with hope, but failing on the last effort of the weekend makes for a long drive home and a lingering question that will slowly erode your motivation. Retool and continue the war or admit that the enemy of your habits and facing discomfort are too great a foe to fight any longer.
The beauty of climbing projects is that they don’t run away. Crux holds will stay where you left them and your project won’t noticeably change season to season. Instead, you’re the one who changes. Growth is inevitable for us all and, as time passes, the other climbs we do and the experiences we adventure through until we return will shape us and help our later attempts.
For me, a project is like a mile marker in time that clearly shows me how much I have grown. If nothing is changing each time I return, then I need to slow down and really listen to what I am saying during my next attempt.
Dial 911 was the first route I took a real break from and it took about three years away to recoup my damaged ego. Returning after a break let me enjoy the process while letting go of the constant desire to control my climbing success. When I became aware and listened to these important comments, the send came quickly and every try provided valuable lessons.
Sitting at the anchors for the last time and unable to stop smiling, I finally graduated from Dial 911. While savouring that special feeling of earning something through enduring hard work, only one question came to mind, “What will my next project teach me?”
The pursuit of making our seemingly impossible, possible, is a cycle. Every time we go through a revolution, we realize that we are stronger than we thought and limits are only classes in life we have yet to attend.