Reflections on Rockclimbing

March 14, 2007

I learned rockclimbing with a group of young Mexican climbers in the walls of La Huasteca in Monterey, Mexico. Each time I began leading, they challenged and pushed me to never release without putting in all my effort and energy to each climb. Only after I did that, could I fall.

During that time, I was reading about rockclimbing from a German climber who told this story. "I was preparing myself to climb a 6000 ft granite wall solo. The biggest obstacle for me would be at 90ft up; if I passed that place by just a few feet, there was no way back. Now, there are two kinds of fear. There is one fear that disorganizes yourself and makes anxiety explode inside your body. And there is another type of fear, as intense as the first one, that focuses you so intensely on what is right in front of you -- the next hold and the next movement on the body -- that all else, including the future, disappears. I arrived at the 90ft mark with the second kind of fear and so knew that I had to continue.


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