Saturday, 2 January 2010


Another Winter season now and my frustration levels reach an all time high.Trying a route with Dave the other day I couldn't make height and it drove home my feelings of hopelessness. I cant remember the last time I made it to the top of a winter line and its making me nuts. I hate myself deeply for failing on a personal level but even more so for letting my climbing partners down. The hatred is such that I cant let it go, it burns inside my head day and night calling me weak and pathetic. It is a constant reminder of all those faces and voices from my past that told me "you cant". I've very rarely found things in my past that I cant do but winter climbing is the hardest battle yet and so far its winning this cruel game. Its now a living breathing thing that I have to overcome, its been baiting me for too many years now, taking me away from what most would call a normal life and throwing me into a fight with myself. For now its almost like it is part of my personality and its a part I need to cut away but I'll only manage that after I can climb something I feel is hard. Something that's brutal, dangerous and somewhat hurts me to justify the pain I've caused to those I've cared for over the years with the selfish pursuit of my climbing. But then do I really care about the hurt I've caused to climb??

I've thought for a long time that I did care about the relationships I've had in the past but in reality I very likely didn't (apart from once). I've either used them to find comfort away from a particular spurt of risk taking or purposefully got into relationships I knew would end badly and hurt me so that I could use it to fuel my risk taking. I've only recently opened my mind to the possibility that I didn't really care about these relationships and was actually a shallow person who, in fact, felt very little apart from the glow of self-satisfaction that climbing gives me. I never realised how true it probably was or how utterly ruthless it was possible to be and still feel nothing until last week.

I was home for a few days over Christmas and met many people I knew, some for a very long time, and at no point did I feel anything in common with them. I knew then that this would likely be among the last times that I will see these people. This feeling came crashing home when I met 'her'. She told me she had been thinking about me etc and in the past this would have meant a fair amount to me but the other day I just smiled at her and walked away. She didn't make my stomach churn, in that way when you see someone you love, like she has in the past. My feelings for her are eventually dead after a long time trying to get rid of them. I thought that this would lift a weight but the void that's been left in my life by cutting away my love for her has been filled by the pressure on myself to perform something that could be impossible.

But then that's another reason why I love climbing so much, It allows me to dump un-important things from my life, and replace the space they took up with the really meaningful things. To try achieve something I ,at this moment, think is impossible but with hard work and single minded focus it can become a reality. It is a constant source of surprise and joy that climbing can take the crap from my life and recycle it into something good and usable......................

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