A few months back I found myself in a bad place. I was beginning a nine-month overnight shift at work, and was bummed about the effect it would have on my climbing goals. This was something I hadn’t fully taken into account when I made my goals for the year. Around the same time, some big plans I had for learning new climbing skills had fallen through, as well as a big trip we had planned.
I walked around like sad Charlie Brown for weeks. As far as I could tell, my climbing progress and goals would have to be put on hold until next year. This year was a bust. The end. Nothing to be done.
Fast forward to October. I look back at the last few months and I am astounded at all of the fun stuff and great progress that has been made this summer. Proving, once again,that just because things don’t work out exactly as I plan them, they usually still work out just fine. In fact, I’d say things have been pretty darned great. I have learned a lot of new skills and have climbed all over the country.
This season went a bit like this:
- Climbed in a lot of new places!
- Attended a Chicks Climbing clinic at Devils Lake and learned a TON. I gained skills and confidence in outdoor technique, as well as learning about anchors and protection placements.
- I can now set up top rope anchors with confidence.
- First outdoor sport leads: first in Boulder Canyon, second in Red Wing, MN. More to come.
- Learned how to clean anchors on a sport climb and rappel back down.
- Made some big leaps in the mental part of climbing.
- Camped in the rain quite a bit; learned really quickly how to set up my tent correctly for the rain.
- Hiked in the rain quite a bit. Learned the value of rain gear and wool socks.
- Met a lot of great climbing folks across the country (thank you, Twitter).
- Climbed my first real mountain (ok… hiked my first real mountain).
- Committed myself to kettlebells classes, twice a week. I’ve made big gains in strength and cardio.
As it turns out, it’s been a great year. Debbie-Downer-Eliz was wrong. I have a whole new set of skills that I didn’t have a few months ago, many of them coming from experiences that weren’t originally in the plan. I’m really proud of what I’ve accomplished this year, and really excited for the opportunities that are now open to me!
I’m not going to lie: working overnights definitely changes things up and affects the way I feel and how I have to plan my activities (I’ll make that its very own post). But, looking at the list above, I’ve obviously been finding ways to work around it.
Moral of the story: Plans change, and they fall through. Life changes. I am reminded to be flexible and keep my eyes open. Every change in our lives opens up new opportunities. Many of the great things I did this summer were a result of plans changing. Pretty cool.
P.S. I’ve just gained a new lead-climbing partner both in the gym and on rock. Congrats to Seth for taking the plunge and learning to lead!