Lord of the Flies
I came across this quote the other day and it sums up rather well my failed borderline schizophrenic attempts to quit high risk climbing. Hopefully this post will explain where my head is at before this climb and what lead me here. I'm also hoping that writing about it will be personally cathartic and clear some headspace!
The 'Beast' mentioned in the quote above I relate to the inner demon that drives my climbing and risk taking. I wish it was the inspirational motivation that people think it it is but it sure aint. It controls most of my major decisions and terrifies me with its power to do so. On one side I hate and fear it but on the other I love and respect it, it's tough to balance between them. Going too far in one direction means depression and darkness and the other in a frenzy of dangerous climbing like soloing F&F or gaining grades solo and quickly.
I had genuinely thought I was past all this but after the fall I knew I would have to prove to myself I still had bottle and the only way to do that would be to come back and improve on what I have done before. Since the fall I've had a chance at a couple of relationships which is what I thought I wanted but the drive to climb hard again beat any prospect of that and once again emotions were swept ruthlessly aside to make way for climbing. I don't understand why I couldn't just be happy with surviving the fall and all my solos and just settle down, no point dwelling on that stuff though.
It's been over a year and a half since the fall and since I managed back on my feet almost every waking moment has been gearing toward what I hope will happen next week, success on E8. These 20 metres of rock have dominated everything for that time, nothing else has particularly mattered and it makes me see how selfish I've become so perhaps it's time to utter the words "I'm quitting after this one" once again only to realise that people are right and as one writer put it "climbing for Kev is an irreversible decision", perhaps there is no going back now? But then with my date for my operation confirmed for 30th of November I don't really have much choice in the matter of stopping for the majority of next year, time to stock up on box sets again!!