Well just a couple of days ago I decide it was time to take charge and try and spend a little time on a route that I have wanted to try for about the last four years. I have been putting it off and putting it off for all this time because I was lacking confidence, doubting my abilities and self-sabotaging…………well not anymore.
With Karine and my longtime friend and great climbing buddy Rob, I warmed up and on a few cruisy routes with the intention of beginning work on this incredibly inspiring and demanding line.
I packed my gear after the warm up and began to walk around to the cave where my real battle would begin. Thinking back on it, the real battle began when I decided that I would actually get on the route.
During my time as a climber I have battled demons of falling and possibly dying, committed crimes upon myself mentally, but no crime has been greater than the self-sabotage I have committed upon myself. Today was a day of reckoning for me and I was about to embark on a new journey of self discovery and continued growth. As the great author Samuel Butler once wrote “He has spent his life best, who has enjoyed it most.”
Today was also the first day I would begin my work on “The Way of All Flesh”. A steep enduro pumper that doesn’t give up until you have clipped the anchors. I was attempting the route graded 26 M0 (7b+)(5.12c).
Note** The route off the ground is 28 (7c+)(5.13a), but many, like myself “batman” up to the first draw, hence the aid rating (M0). I was feeling good and definitely quietly motivated to try hard.
I tied in and headed for the first draw, pulling on the rope with Rob doing his best to keep me going upward. Finally was sitting at the base of my project. I looked up and breathed out deeply and said “It’s gotta be fun mate, its gotta be fun!”. I pulled on and pulled through the first few moves to the first pinch move. Not sure where to go I just stopped and looked above and sat on the rope for a little time……like three minutes or so.
Once I had sorted out where I wanted to place my hands and feet I moved up again to the next pinch and held on tight, this move was hard for me. I pulled through to a good hold and placed a draw and stopped to check out the next section. Moving up into the crimps just below a huge bucket, I held on tight and pulled through the moves and up into the steepening roof.
Resting for a little while, I started to climb again, feeling solid moving through the next section……and here is where I opened a nice gash where my left ring finger joins my palm. Blood began to run and I fell off going for the big cross over to the next good hold……..
This is where to first day ended, but as I said before……..It is only the beginning! 🙂
Don’t aim for success if you want it; just do what you love and believe in, and it will come naturally.
– David Frost