|Y2K. RR, NV|
Smooth, calm, and full of the same exuberance for this experience as me, my partner climbs to meet me. We high-five, share a chuckle at some inside joke that came from this experience, exclaim our happiness at this most incredible day and our burly achievement, swap gear. Then my faceless climbing partner continues on.
My partner is "faceless" because this is a dream. This partner embody qualities from many of the people I've climbed with over the years - the arms of one, feet of a second, ears, hair, helmet, harness of others, but with the inspired joy for this activity that all have shared. They cannot have a face, since one is not enough. In this dream, I scale the vertical and overhanging, small-featured faces and sustained cracks and I have no hesitation, I do not waver, I do not need to "take." I am confident and I am crushing it!
|My new friend, Mr. Burro|
This dream was a big part of why I so eagerly anticipated my road trip to Red Rock Canyon. This was going to be a marker as to how far I'd come in my "year of climbing". I was going to get on BIG! things. And finally, as in my dream, feel like a real climber.
But, my trip was not what I expected. And this last week it dawned on me that I don't even know what being a real climber means. Can someone be a "fake" climber vs. a "real"one? Is there such a thing? And if not, what is this goal I'm trying to achieve anyways?
The current reality: I forget to breathe, my legs shake, my confidence falters. "Crushing it" means finishing a 2-pitch, 5.7 trad climb or clipping 5.9 sport bolts, maybe when pushed a 5.10, without panic. This reality is not my dream. I am not there. Yet.
But also not planned was the time to make new friendships, renew ones I'd let lax, and redefine others, including the one with myself, this climber girl. (And the time to hang out with wild burro!) Despite all that was unexpected, I still had fun. So, what is it that this climber really wants? Is it to someday redpoint 5.12? Climb big walls? Find some hidden, unknown line to FA?
|New day, new landscape.|
One thing I am very confident of; I still love this dream, its what real climbing is to me. And this is reality.