It is so ridiculously stressful to center my life around climbing when I live nowhere near any climbing while I’m going to school. So much planning goes into every single trip that I go on; every trip outside AND every trip to the gym because both are so time consuming.
Every trip to the gym, I have to ask myself if I have 5 hours that day to commit to driving over an hour to the gym, staying long enough to get a sufficient work out, and driving over an hour back. I have to think about how much work I have done, how much work I have to do, how many tests I have that week, how many tests I have the next week, how much time I’m going to have to spend making up the work if I decide to go. I have to ask myself if I have the $30 ($20 for gas, $10 for the gym fee) to make the trip each time. $30. Every. Single. Time.
Every trip outside, I have to ensure I have absolutely nothing major the next week. I have to make sure I have at least 10-14 hours that weekend to commit to driving. I have to have done enough work in advance in order to not be swamped with work when I return on Sunday. I have to make sure I have the gas money and the food money.
I have to religiously check the weather every day that week leading up to the trip. I have to decide if it is worth the money and time only to know that the weather might not work out and I can end up not climbing. A waste.
I have invested countless hours and hundreds of dollars that I don’t really have to pursue this sport. I get so stressed over not knowing when the next time I’m going to climb is and I get stressed just trying to stay psyched. The question, “Why do I do this?” definitely runs through my head. I don’t even know if it’s worth all of the effort… it’s not even like I have some exceptional talent for climbing that would be a waste if I didn’t indulge it.
I guess it comes down to the fact that I’m not going to not climb. I’m not going to half-ass it either. I’m not going to climb once every three weeks and be happy with myself. No, I’m going to put all I can into if I’m going to do it…and it looks like that’s what’s happening.
It all comes together when things work out. When I’m sitting on top of a boulder I just finished and the sun is on me, the breeze is blowing, and everything is so perfectly picturesque. In those moments, I’m the happiest I’ve ever been and everything just makes sense. The problem is, most of the time I’m not sitting on top of the boulder. I’m sitting in Charlottesville, in class having people talk at me for hours, in the library working my ass off, or in the car making the 70 mile drive to the climbing gym. In fact, I’m no where near that boulder. And it just sucks.
But I’m going to keep going, because stopping is not an option.