I don’t think I’m gonna climb today, I think I’ll watch my kids climb instead.
Those were the infamous words I heard myself say last Friday (6/7/19) as I got ready to head into work, the a 3 week long summer program at my charter school aimed at providing students with opportunities to try outdoor activities such as paddle boarding, hiking, mountain biking and rock climbing.
That day, my group was headed to an indoor bouldering gym, a gym I had been to many times previously, familiarized with their routes.
Getting to the gym with my group of high school students, I took one look at the ceiling route (a route I’ve attempted many times before but never completed) and said to myself, I bet I can climb that.
Rewind almost a year ago, I was climbing at Garden of the Gods, my adventure partner Tim and I were showing friends from out of town the legendary red sandstone routes. We had climbed most of the afternoon, leaving Montezuma’s Tower, an iconic Colorado climb, for the cherry to top the day’s epicness.
As we cleaned up the gear from the afternoon, I thought to myself, I think I’m done climbing for the day. Tim confided in me that he too was done climbing for the day and asked me to lead Montezuma’s Tower. “You’ve climbed it before and I’m confident in your ability to lead this route!” He confidently stated to me.
I thought about my friends from out of town and how they’d love to be on top of Montezuma’s tower, and see the view from above. I also considered Tim’s confidence and wanted to believe his words. I don’t want to let them down.
That day at the Garden, on Montezuma’s Tower, I ended up falling from 10ft off the ground unclipped. Luckily, my partner Tim caught me (and by caught me, I mean took my butt to his face) but the lasting trauma of the fall mind fucked my confidence in my ability to sport climb.
Fast forward to last Friday, looking at the ceiling route in the bouldering gym, my ego got the best of me. I bet I can climb that lead to me climbing past my previous personal best, but swinging out uncontrollably, falling and injuring my collateral ligaments in my left knee.
Both incidents involved me hearing my intuitive voice: I don’t think I’m gonna climb today…. and I think I’m done climbing for the day.
Yet in both occurrences, my ego was the victor and I rationalized my way out of listening to my body’s intuitive response: I bet I can climb that, and I don’t want to let them down.
The lesson: listen AND FOLLOW my intuition. My body knows best, even subconsciously my body knows more than what my rational brain can process. Clearly the universe gave me multiple chances to learn this lesson, and in the words of The Alchemist author Paulo Coelho, “Success is falling down 7 times but getting up 8!”