Spending the better part of a week at Smith Rock allowed for us to get a good feel of what this place has to offer. We climbed a decent amount of the classic lines, even getting on Wherever I May Roam, a 5 pitch 5.9 sport route, with the whole crew (Leslie, Joseph, Kirby and I). Our second day at the crag, we were able to get two climbs in before the skies decided to rain on our parade, but the weather seemed to be on our side for the rest of the trip, giving ample sunshine with a mixture of cold gusts of wind that kept us on our toes.
The crags were pretty packed, at least if you were to look over at Morning Glory Wall, The Dihedrals and The Christian Brothers. With as many classics being so easily accessible, it was a no brainer why everyone decided to hang out in that area. We planned out a good amount of climbs for each day and were able to get on pretty much everything that sparked our interest. After hearing about Magic Light, described as a great introduction to what 5.11 climbs at Smith are like, I knew I wanted to hop on it and give my best shot. It was really hard, harder than I expected but looking back now, I’m really happy and humbled to have tried it out. With big moves, and the pump building, I fell, I took, but I made my way up to the top of the climb, through liebacks, big moves and pumped forearms, I did it. I was so bummed for pretty much the rest of the day, feeling defeated by this silly climb that I built up so highly in my own mind. It took some time for me to overcome this defeat, being able to look at it as a learning curve of actually pushing myself. I have been tackling climbs that I know are well in my limit, doing them clean which is fun, it gives me confidence, but it doesn’t push my limits.
Working on this whole head game thing is hard. It’s hard because I see so many different parts of myself that I don’t necessarily want to see, I get angry, I cry, I feel as if I’m simply not good enough. Sitting on the rope after a fall or after I screamed ‘TAKE’ down to Joseph who had my belay, everything come out, and then I focus on my breath. “Breath it in, Let it go.” I say to myself as my focus goes to the rock in front of my face, feeling the different textures planning how the movement is to unfold as I make my way up the climb.
It’s hard to push yourself. It’s hard to take a step outside of your comfort zone, working on bettering your climbing, yourself, your being. Nothing in life worthwhile is easy. If it was, everyone would be happy, and we would have nothing to work for. Climbing constantly pushes my thoughts, and feelings, making way to break through cruxes of my everyday life.