Tomorrow marks the beginning of yet another stretch of incredibly long days. In some strange way, it is enjoyable. I would like to think that working so much gives me a sense of purpose, but it doesn't. Really, its just an impressive way to use all my time.
Climbing was a good choice. I have been trying to go climbing for months now, but things always come up for either me or my partner and we end up cancelling. Finally, I had a few hours of free time and the only worthwhile thing I could come up with to spend it on was climbing. My arms are tired, my brain is at ease, and my eyes feel heavy. Nothing puts me in a more perfect state of rest than climbing. I may not be the best, I may not even be that great, but I climb nonetheless.
The act of climbing forces me to focus only on what is in front of me - where to place my foot, the best way to reach that next hand hold - and allows my mind to relax. But good company multiplies those effects. To laugh and climb and enjoy those few hours of simple good times is priceless.
While we were climbing, I couldn't help but remember how seemingly pointless it is on the surface. If you take climbing at face value, what you get is a bunch of people shimmying up a wall simply to reach the top. That's it. Its not like we do anything once we get up there. You touch the top, you come back down, you go somewhere else and do it all again. There is a physical and mental challenge in climbing, as with any sport. But really, once you have conquered that route and reached the top, what was the point?
Of course, this is looking at the skin of climbing. Underneath (again, as with most things) is the real value, the real point as to why anyone climbs.
For me, I realized that one of the important things in climbing is relationship. When you climb, you interact with your partner and/or group, often talking and laughing and getting to know one another. Other things are the same. Sometimes the action itself seems devoid of value, but in reality it presents an opportunity to get closer to people, and also to challenge oneself; to prove that you are capable of physical and mental feats beyond what you thought you could achieve.
Climbing is a little bit of those for me. Mostly it just helps me to forget about my life for a moment and do something I can do...climb some rock.