Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Getting Back to Climbing, Week 15: Pulling People Up

"In life most people want to pull you down.  When you find someone who wants to pull you up, grab onto them."  A quote from my grandfather.

A few weeks ago there were a group of us, all working the same boulder problem at the gym.  It was a good session, and everyone was climbing around the same grade.  I am not a particularly social climber; I shy away from the crowds and the competition.  I am social with people at the gym, just not so much while I am climbing; I am not one of those people who usually get motivated around other climbers.  However, on this particular day, the vibe was right and so were the climbers, so I was really motivated.

Then this guy (who works at the climbing gym) comes up, takes off his street shoes, leaves his socks on, and climbs the problem (the same boulder problem everyone was working on).  He finished, sat down in a chair fifteen feet away and watched.  I assume he thought that he was now a hero, since he was able to climb the problem (in socks) that we had all been working.

This guy was a typical 'want to pull you down' person.  He didn't climb the problem as part of his circuit, nor did he do it to show us 'secret beta'... he did it to make himself feel big, and to make everyone else feel small.  (Side note:  I have no issue when people climb your project when they are actually climbing, we all do that when a boulder problem is part of your circuit; this guy hadn't been climbing before, and didn't climb after.)

It made me think about how much 'bigger' someone really is when they pull people up.  The person who makes people feel small doesn't succeed in making himself bigger in their eyes... just the opposite.  We all view the person who pulls us up as a hero, and the ones who try to bring you down as... well, as jerks.

This also made me more aware of the opportunities that I have to 'pull people up', and it gave me a lot to think about.  I realized that I don't make an effort to pull people up as much as I should; I don't pull them down, but I also don't make the effort to pull others up... at least not enough.

Anyway, we all (John, The Kid, and I) hit the gym on Tuesday, and The Kid and I went on Friday.  My climbing was uneventful... basically it was a plateau week.  This was just fine with me, I was just happy to be climbing.

I would love to know what you think about my blog, or this post, or really anything.  Leave a comment, and let's get a conversation started!
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  1. Hey Lady,

    Thanks for your post today, the quote from your grandfather is gold. "In life most people want to pull you down. When you find someone who wants to pull you up, grab onto them." (I may need to steal this to post on facebook) Its the truth, how often do we pull people up and even ourselves for that matter. I totally needed a pull up today and this was the medicine :)

    I miss you dearly at the studio and we must link up sometime real soon. Ya know I'm living in Patchogue now.


  2. Hey Hey! I am so happy you liked it, I just saw that you posted it on fb... made my day. I miss you too! I keep forgetting what day it is, and miss stopping in on Tuesdays. But, yeah we need to get together. I am also thinking of an art sale situation (if you would be interested) here at the house in the fall (when Brightwaters has their community yard sale in the park); good traffic. I will let you know. But I really miss the studio... wah wah. Your new place looks freakin fab! congrats!

  3. Tara ,
    i agree that most of us do not do enough pulling up and we should stop and take a look and chance to pull someone up .
    Question for you : What does one do when they are constantly pulling people up yet feel like they are perpetually being pulled down ? Does that person stop pulling people up to save them selves, or dig some more spikes in and keep pulling people up ?

  4. Hey Frankie - Well, good question. I am a huge believer of "self preservation". And it goes both ways:
    #1. We are responsible for ourselves and our happiness and success. So, while it is wonderful to have someone pull you up through rough patches and give you a 'boost' in everyday life - it is ultimately up to us to pull ourselves up. That person pulling you down as you are trying to pull them up... they need to take care of themselves (and I am not talking about if you are taking care of someone who is ill etc).
    #2. The other side of this is that if you are being pulled down by someone perpetually, then you need to save yourself. Redefine the relationship boundaries and look out for You. Do what you need to do to save yourself.
    The hope is that we latch onto positive people, and not get pulled down by the negativity that some others seem to comfortably dwell in. Also 'pulling people up' doesn't have to be heroic... a smile, telling someone they did a great job, saying thank you, and encouraging.

    I am assuming this is you Frankie Fingas! Miss you, sorry we weren't home a few weeks ago. Art sale, my house, fall/Brightwaters community yard sale time? Let's make it happen.