Monday, May 16, 2011

Getting Back to Climbing, Week 16: Walking the Carriage Road and Changing Expectations

This week started out with a bang.  I got up early on Sunday morning, and started packing while John and The Kid were still sleeping.  When they got up at 7:30, I told them they had half an hour to get ready and out the door.  At 8:09 we were on the road, driving up to the Shawangunks to boulder the carriage road.  The 'Gunks' is in New Paltz, and is the mecca for trad climbing and bouldering in New York; it is also where John and I had our first date, got engaged and got married.  This was the first weekend I would be up there climbing again, since being pregnant.

I have to admit that I don't really enjoy bouldering the Carriage road.  Truth be told, I am more of a rope climber than a boulderer.  Ironically I never (even before The Kid) get on rope at the gym, I only boulder at the rock climbing gym.  Bouldering doesn't require a partner (I have always prefered to hit the gym at odd times with less people), and it works my weaknesses.  Nonetheless I was super excited to get outside and climb, hit some of my old projects, and spend the day with John and The Kid.

While I am not sure exactly how I expected the day to go, it was probably something like this... The Kid was going to sit happily watching us climb, while he entertained himself playing with stones.  I was going to walk up to my old projects and send them (or at least one of them).  John would send everything he touched (which is what usually happens anyway).  The Kid would sleep happily in his stroller, and John could spot me on the hard boulder problems I was sure to send.  We would have huge family adventure.  Our day would be just like old times... only better, since we would be sharing it with The Kid.
On one of my old projects.
John did his best photographing...
but it is really hard to get a good shot, and watch The Kid.
We did have a great day... but it was different; different than my expectations and different than old times.  Somehow I had forgotten about the drop off along the Carriage Road (seems impossible, but I did), so I hadn't anticipated the terror that would run through my body, as The Kid ran full speed down the road.  The desire that The Kid had for a closer look of people working Buddha (demonstrated by his frequent attempts to walk under the boulderers), was also not anticipated.  His excitement overrode his need for breakfast, lunch, snacks or a timely nap; which began to erode my enthusiasm and energy.  John send every boulder problem he got on... no surprises there.  My months climbing exclusively on plastic did not translate into climbing well where it counts:  on real rock.

However, the differences in reality and my expectations also made the day wonderful... just different.  Seeing The Kid run full speed down the Carriage Road like a deer was breathtaking and beautiful.  Watching John climb is always inspiring; he always makes it look effortless, and climbs with passion.  After a long beautiful walk past Boxcar, looking at streams and seeing a snake, The Kid did fall asleep in his stroller (which honestly has only happened about three other times before ever).  During his nap, John and I got to talk to each other (without interruption) and John spotted me on some bouldering problems.  Despite my climbing not being where I had hoped, I remembered how much I love to climb on real rock, and am more motivated to get back out.

John said it best... this was our first trip upstate as a family.  We are learning what we need to do, so the day goes smoothly... and so is The Kid.  When John and I were first together, it took me hours to pack for a weekend upstate because I didn't know what to expect.  By the time we got engaged, we could be out of the door in twenty minutes.  We, as a family, are at the beginning of another learning curve.  I am starting to realize that our weekends upstate will be more about enjoying the day as a family, with some climbing... and less about only climbing.  I also have a feeling that just when we settle into this new groove, things will change... and, again, so will our expectations.

As far as the gym this week (my home gym is Island Rock on Long Island, NY), I made it in on Tuesday and Wednesday with The Kid.  Although, I didn't send any of my bouldering projects, I did start some new ones.  The important thing is that I am at the gym, getting stronger... so I can send some projects outside.

PS - The original Week 16 blog post was lost, this is a re-write.  A few hours after I posted the original, Blogpsot crashed; while it seems as though most posts were retrieved and re-posted, mine was not.  So in the event that you managed to read the original, before it disapeared, yes... this is not quite the same.


1 comment:

  1. LOVE IT!!!! What a great perspective to have when going up as a family :o) I am surprised that you forgot about that drop off though LOL That drop off makes me nervy every time because I'm super clumsy and trip over my own two feet...all the time. BUT it's fantastic to get The Kid acclimated to the area and learn from such a young age the danger zones and signs to look out for. Congratulations guys on an incredibly successful and beautiful day!!!!