Keep Climbing Fresh

Ticking that next grade sometimes feels like the most important thing in the world. It takes on such importance that achieving it blinds you to potential daily joy of the journey you’re currently on.

2013 was a tough year for me, climbing-wise. A career change and the preparations of getting married all prevented me from ever finding my rhythm on the rock. Simply put, life got in the way of climbing. Eventually, I just had to let go.

But for me, simply not climbing is no solution. I had to let it go to realize how much I actually need it in my life. This year I’ve been trying to reintroduce the sport I love back into my routines and hectic schedule in a healthier way—both with balance and the underlying acceptance that nothing is forever. Whether you do or don’t do something, you can still be you. Goals that seem important in the past may no longer become relevant to your basic human quest in the future. It’s important to recognize that at any time you can walk away.

I think it is ok to be open to changing up your interests. What is important is that you still find a way to have goals that remain relevant and interesting to your life. We are human beings first and our goals are simply supplements to our own weird journeys. But when you do find something that stokes your fire, you should pursue it with desire, curiosity and ambition till you are able to express your fullest potential.

I know that I’m not there yet. And that’s what keeps this sport so interesting to me after all these years.


About The Photo

DAILY STOKE caption: Sasha Digiulian working on La Rambla (5.15a) in perfect light. Siurana, Spain.

PHOTO by: Keith Ladzinski of 3 Strings Productions.

  • Nice post. I have climbed for 20 years and have gone through my periods of “on” (heavy road tripping/projecting) and “off” (medical residency, cancer, currently fertility treatments to get pregnant). I’ve never understood people who will just quit climbing once they lose their ability to climb as hard as they once could – the ego eclipses the love of climbing. The challenge, as you said, is continuously reframing your perspective and adjusting your goals as necessary.

  • A great post. It’s been awhile since I’ve read your blog, just got busy with other things. Funny, it’s the first time in my life that I’ve made decisions about career that have a negative impact on my climbing. I can still climb, just shorter seasons. If someone would have told me that 10 years ago, I would have laughed. Of course, this does mean a long road trip when my contract is up.