Saturday, June 18, 2011

Getting Back to Climbing, Week 21: Just Me

The Kid and I went to the rock climbing gym on Tuesday afternoon, just before a gnarly heat spell hit New York.  It had been three weeks since I had climbed, and during that time the bouldering cave had been stripped, and reset.  So there were all new problems to play on.  None of the climbs were are marked with a grade (level of difficulty), which is cool with me.  There is Zen in climbing just for the movement of climbing; getting caught up in how hard you climb (or don't climb) can take away from the joy of the movement.  One of the reasons that I love rope climbing (versus bouldering) is that I am alone in my space, while I am climbing it is just me.

I went out running for the first time in over a year on Friday night; uh yeah, on a Friday night that is what I did... lame and boring, or not?  All week, before I went to sleep at night, I planned on an early morning run.  It never happened.  Friday night, Our Son was asleep early-ish, and John and I were hanging out.  I told him I really wanted to go for a run, but it was too late, already dark; he didn't think it was too late... so off I went.  I have never run at night.  Chili Peppers and Rob Zombie serenaded me while I ran.  I suck at running; I am terrible, but there is something that I love about it... even though I can't run fast or far.  I find myself in a simple, quiet space... except for the music that I always want super loud.  The other wonderful thing about running... is that it is only about me.  I have no clue how fast (or slow) I am compared to others, and no idea how far I run.  It is all about me, and what I do... not compared to anyone else.
Sunrise at our Island in Canada
August 2008

Lately, I have been thinking about how we seem to always compare ourselves to other people.  Sometimes this is a very good thing; when you see another accomplish something (big or small) and it motivates you in some way (big or small).  However, I think, that more often, comparing ourselves to other people makes us feel like we aren't quite good enough.  When I run at night, or climb un-graded boulder problems alone, there is no one to compare myself to... the experience is pure.  It is just the experience.

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