Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Do It To It

This weekend while climbing I learned the beauty of "hand jamming". Hand jamming is when you use your hand to gain purchase in a crack by twisting, squeezing or spreading the palm, pulling your thumb down, making a fist, stacking both hands, etc. in order to continue your vertical ascent. It's essentially shoving your hand in a crack and rolling your thumb, in turn creating a grip to hold your entire body weight. Your security lies in the strength of your thumbs and palms.

As one of the tests of this weekend, I had to hand jam my way up a crack the width of three of my fingers. The task seemed daunting, and damn near impossible.
Yea, follow the arrows. 

I treat every climb as a puzzle, or a problem, eager to be solved. Maybe that's the "fixer" in me. I can't walk away without solving the problem. And for this climb, I had to get up to the top, no doubt about it. I just had to mentally figure out which way I was going to tackle it. So I geared up and began.
While going though the easy stretch as you see above, I was not only getting my morale up, but was also getting my mind spinning, preparing for the challenge ahead. The balance of this game was familiar and comfortable.
Before I knew it, the challenge was in full force. It was paralyzing. My body ached, and my hands bled as I jammed my hands into place, rolling my thumbs and praying that they could hold all 140 lbs of me, meanwhile smearing my toes against the face of the rock creating a shelf of support. Literally inching my body through the crux.
Though persistence and the cheers from my friends, I was able to turn my adrenaline onto overdrive and drop all thoughts and just go balls-to-the-wall. In fact, I think I even turned around and said "Shit just got real." to my friends below. And I was off. I was fully invested, and there was no going back. The puzzle, the game, it had to be carried out. Sure enough, with enough "elvis legs", laughing, and grunting, I got myself to a small shelf that I could grab onto, allowing me to power through towards the top.
And sure enough. I made it to the top where I was washed over with the greatest feeling of accomplishment. Rarely do I ever sit back and say "damn, I am proud of myself". But as I sat there, trying to catch my breath, looking over Smith Rock State Park, that was EXACTLY what I was saying to myself.

I couldn't help but chuckle at lifes metaphor while I was sitting up there catching my breath. Daily, we all invest in our puzzles. We work our way though the mazes and figure out how we are going to get though what seems impossible.We invest everything we have and are left relying on trust. Blind trust. With enough support, drive, and excitement we can find the beauty in the game and own it.

Own it.
Do it to it.
Rock it.

Make lifes puzzle your bitch and always remember to smile.
You would be amazed at what you can overcome.

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