Rewind: A Life Without Climbing?

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Messages 81 - 100 of total 129 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Feb 2, 2013 - 09:09pm PT
A life without climbing....hell, i have trouble going a day without climbing.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 3, 2013 - 11:16am PT
Hang tuff Jim! We are all pulling for you. Heh.

LilaBiene suggested an answer to Jim's ... er, Struggle:

whether there is a possible genetic necessity to continually bump up against and exceed previous physical limitations and knowledge of terrain, including regular, all out efforts, for both mental and physical survival

* I tried, I really did.

And you succeeded!
LilaBiene

Trad climber
Feb 3, 2013 - 11:26am PT
Took an awful long and meandering trail, though, eh? I'll edit down the excessive drivel. ")
Mike Friedrichs

Sport climber
City of Salt
Feb 3, 2013 - 12:38pm PT
Has that [pre-climbing]pursuit evolved to your dis-taste, or diverged from the values which climbing has inculcated within you since you left your earlier path?

For sure. But I think it had a lot more to do with the climbers and perhaps less so with the climbing. I grew up in a very conservative family, in every sense of the word. It was also very tightly controlled -- who my friends were, what my activities were, values, politics.

The crazy, eclectic, creative, sometimes self-destructive, emotional, authentic nature of the people I met along the way had a profound effect on me and changed my earlier path about 180 degrees. I no longer saw experimentation as a distraction from the goal but perhaps the goal itself. Instead of being closed and judgmental (although I can fall into this at times, as most of us perhaps do), I became a lot more open to all the possibilities that this wonderful journey provides, both on and off the rock.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 3, 2013 - 01:24pm PT
Thank you for revisiting that Mike!

The crazy, eclectic, creative, sometimes self-destructive, emotional, authentic nature of the people I met along the way had a profound effect on me and changed my earlier path about 180 degrees

Perfect.
So you look back on your earlier pursuits as having been overly regimented. This is an outcome of the expanded perspective which your climbing activities have rendered.

We really could float the question in a separate thread: "How Has Climbing Changed You". I'd like to look around a little deeper and see if we already have one, it's such a no-brainer.
yedi

Trad climber
Stanwood,wa
Feb 3, 2013 - 03:26pm PT
Hey Tarbuster, there is a national org for those of us who still love to race old dirt bikes on courses designed for them. Check out AHRMA. We have organized races all over. Look at AHRMA NW for events N. Cal.up to Canada
SCseagoat

Trad climber
Santa Cruz
Feb 3, 2013 - 03:29pm PT
Took an awful long and meandering trail, though, eh? I'll edit down the excessive drivel. ")

Dontchya dare...I am entranced by your writings!

Susan
hobo_dan

Social climber
Minnesota
Feb 3, 2013 - 04:16pm PT
I got involved with risk sports when I was 17 and started whitewater kayaking. I was pretty good at it and I had zero judgement- which meant i was up for most anything.
My skill level was a solid class IV boater and a good 5.10 trad leader.
I ended up getting a job at the local EMS which then brought me into a group of people who rock climbed.
On and Off to college- I basically failed my way through school but I did graduate (after 8 years--being a freshman really were three of the best years of my life!) I had a bucket list and part of that was to take these long solo hitch hike trips out west to go climbing.
I had very little money and the climbing scene did not require cash so that was a good fit.
Climbing helped me get a lot stronger and definitely took the chip off of my shoulder.
I have never had the nerve to get it up day after day after day- i would always get crushed with a good solid case of Snail Eye.
When I started teaching and got married the need/desire/ability to pursue risk sports tapered off and was replaced with other things.
I'm glad I climbed and I'm glad I was fortunate enough to never have had a bad accident.
I think Bridwell said something to the effect of you won't remember the moves but you'll remember the people you climbed with. I found this to be true- I liked the climbing crowd and the social scene. It felt so hip to be broke, dirty and dedicated to a pointless craft.
The other thing about climbing was it gave me a reason to venture out into the world, and out there nobody gave a shti about what slot you fit into in high school. It was just On Belay and off we go. So nice to have a chance at a clean slate.
nah000

Mountain climber
canuckistan
Feb 3, 2013 - 07:56pm PT
appreciating the contributions you've been making tarbuster. another interesting, worthwhile and, for me personally, timely set of questions. you should get business cards with campfire conversation curator printed on them.

back to the questions: the first fork was away from skiing. but, likely, this was only due to the happenstance of the landscape my formative years were spent on. growing up on the western canadian prairie, there was no climbing within a half days drive [and believe me i checked. i even looked over the geological mapping. there was nothing except a couple of glacial erratics for hundreds of miles in every direction]. so though i climbed trees like a m-f from a very early age, and knew that i wanted to climb rocks after having the good fortune of tagging along with a couple of mountaineers in the canadian rockies, there were no convenient opportunities. otoh, there was a river valley skihill 45 min away. so that is how i spent my weekends and the evenings when nightskiing was available.

when i moved away, i chose where i went to university in large part so i would be close to somewhere i could learn to climb. within a few months i was obsessed with climbing. by the end of the first year i had effectively dropped out because of that obsession. the next few years were centred around road tripping, cragging, and making money to facilitate those adventures.

after this first fork, there have been many more. in retrospect balance has not been my strong suit. haha. i have, in turn, become singularly focused on skiing, climbing, ski touring, construction, etc. by the time i was done each phase i'd be burnt out either physically, emotionally, or psychologically, and i'd turn to the next pursuit. each one of these pursuits would have similar themes, but would also be different enough that i could recover from the aspects of the previous pursuit that had left parts of me drained.

and so as i've been thinking about this question i've been realizing how even the way i've chosen to make a living has really been just an extension of the same core motivations. and to cut to the chase, these pursuits are all centered around the desire [need even?] to be creative, to explore my bodies endurance capabilities, to be either my own boss or in a small team, to be outdoors, and to be, at times, in a martial environment.

and so the short answer is that if i didn't climb, i would have just spent more time on the other activities i've been involved in. because in the end, they are all just extensions of the same drivers.

but this is a bit of a non answer and most of this i already knew about myself. in continuing to think about it i realized that much of who i am has to do with where i happened to be raised. for example, i suspect if i'd been born in an inner city, prior to artificial climbing walls, and far away from natural rock climbing/skiing/etc, i probably would have ended up in the martial arts, even though that is something i have never pursued [my brother otoh, ...].

and so all of this ends up tying back to cowpokes post a bit back. the correlation between genetics [so many of these tendencies and drivers are exhibited by many within my family] and in this case the physical environments that those genetics have been intertwined with.

i once had a dream that i was showing up at a martial arts gym asking for training, because i wanted to fight. the "master" just looked at me laughed and in dream communication said: at your age?

this lifes weaving of paths, landscapes, families, eras, forks... it's a beautiful one, even if it tends towards the brutally short. interesting to think of what might have been as a vehicle to understanding what has become.
Jingy

climber
Somewhere out there
Feb 3, 2013 - 09:43pm PT
None of this would have happened had it not been for climbing.

I would have been an angry working stiff with no means for a means for a better anything.

I was a worker with nothing on my plate. Spending plenty of money on getting stoned and not thinking that I had any kind of future.

I owe everything to the UPS lady who let me know about the gym that was within walking distance to my then apartment/townhouse share.

The short version: I would never have developed into the truly wonderful person I am now without my exposure to climbing.
Cosmiccragsman

Trad climber
AKA Dwain, from Apple Valley, Ca. and Vegas!
Feb 3, 2013 - 10:38pm PT
A Life without climbing
would be a, No life for me.
Bad Climber

climber
Feb 4, 2013 - 12:23am PT
Wow, a totally different existence--and hard to imagine. I was into hiking and hunting with my dad, so I suppose I would have continued in those activities, perhaps graduating to some sort of extreme big game hunting like Dall sheep in Alaska or something. I've always had an intense, rather romantic view and love of the outdoors, so that would probably have continued. But without climbing? Let's see: I would have married a different woman, and our last 26 years together have been the rock (pun intended) of my life would have been with a different person for sure. We met when I was working outdoor retail and she needed crampons--true story. Had SHE not been a climber, she never would have come into that store.

Like many here, much of my life has been constructed, bent, directed to get me into the mountains and up on the rock. Whatever short detours I've taken have always led me back to where I began, a fifteen year old punk yearning for something bigger, wilder, more committing than life on the flats. The road not taken? I didn't take it.

BAd
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 4, 2013 - 12:39am PT
This thing is really cooking right along ain't it! You are all such swell sports.

Yedi suggested:
there is a national org for those of us who still love to race old dirt bikes on courses designed for them.
Thanks for highlighting that specific organization! I've understood a lot of this retro racing has been going on. If my arms didn't get totally pumped searching through my pack for things like antacids or my bus pass, I'd be all over it. I would own and campaign just these two early 70s bikes: Penton 175 Jackpiner, Maico 250 radial, Bultaco Pursang, Ossa Stiletto, and CZ Falta. (Just those two, no more heh) But/and/also maybe something like a 125 Rickman Zundapp Metisse , or better yet/and/or/probably also a Hindall framed thumper. Yes like that: I'd keep it simple!

Hobo Dan, dropped a perennial favorite! :
--being a freshman really were three of the best years of my life!

nah000 cut to the chase:
in the end, they are all just extensions of the same drivers
these pursuits are all centered around the desire [need even?] to be creative, to explore my bodies endurance capabilities, to be either my own boss or in a small team, to be outdoors, and to be, at times, in a martial environment.
& Also noted something I just got lucky with when composing this junket:
interesting to think of what might have been as a vehicle to understanding what has become.

SCSeagoat said to LilaBiene about downsizing her contribution, and I heartily agree as I read every phrase with rapt attention:
Dontchya dare...I am entranced by your writings!
yedi

Trad climber
Stanwood,wa
Feb 4, 2013 - 11:03am PT
1967 CZ 360 twinport
1967 CZ 360 twinport
Credit: yedi
Tarbuster, most of us are in the same boat. Although the skill level runs from ex-pro to green novice we are all in separate skill classes and motos. The bikes you mentioned are all out there too. Here are 2 of the bikes I rebuilt and have been racing the last few years:[photo
This is 1963 Jawa 350 twinpipe motocrosser. The only one racing in the...
This is 1963 Jawa 350 twinpipe motocrosser. The only one racing in the US at this time.
Credit: yedi
id=288082]

The key to it is just having fun. It took me till I was 45 to actualize the dream I had to race MX when I was 13, never got the chance back then. After 25 some odd years of climbing and not going much I needed the adrenaline jump, the road trips and comradeship that stuff like this involves.
scuffy b

climber
heading slowly NNW
Feb 4, 2013 - 11:29am PT
Tarbuster writes:

'We really could float the question in a separate thread: "How Has Climbing Changed You". I'd like to look around a little deeper and see if we already have one, it's such a no-brainer.'

I'm not certain whether this occurred on this forum or another one, likely
rec.climbing, but Matisse (formerly known as something else) had the show-
stopping response:

"Bigger boobs, smaller ass. YMMV."
phylp

Trad climber
Millbrae, CA
Feb 4, 2013 - 02:19pm PT
This is a great thread and a great question, Tarbuster.

I cannot even imagine what my life would have been like without climbing. In the first place, climbing for me is inextricably linked with my husband of thirty plus years, who was the person to introduce me to climbing. It's hard to imagine the path my life would have taken without him.

Secondly, I didn't know that such a thing as "rock climbing" existed when I met my husband. I grew up in an urban/suburban environment in a large working poor family. We never took vacations so the only natural environment I knew were the New England woods near my house. I loved to walk in them with my dog. Then I went to college and grad school in a city and the only outdoors stuff I did was ride my bike through the city streets to class, and to go for walks along the Charles or at the Arboretum.

Without meeting my husband and without climbing, I probably would have gotten into hiking at some point, but probably only day hikes. I would probably look very different than I do. At 60 now, I'm still pretty fit. I have no willpower and I love to eat but the desire to be able to climb and do approaches and descents has given me enough motivation over the years to keep in some semblance of shape.

And with that - I need to get to the gym!
Thanks for the topic!
Phyl
nutjob

Sport climber
Almost to Hollywood, Baby!
Feb 4, 2013 - 05:22pm PT
Most of my childhood I was one of the last ones left to be picked for teams, along with the obese or mentally deficient kids. Maybe that was a side-effect of moving a lot and always being the new kid. It frustrated me because I thought I had more to offer, though I was continually reminded that others didn't see it that way. By high school I rose to the level of proper mediocrity, captain of the football team (along with the only other 4 players left in 12th grade at my small school) but that was my sporting zenith.

Climbing helped my athletic self-image take a turn for the better. It's not so much that I'm good or even mediocre at it, but that there are relatively few people doing it to perform at a lesser standard than me!

Heh heh I don't spend much time comparing myself to others for athletic ability, but I do have more confidence about my abilities from backpacking, climbing, and outdoor adventures.

Without climbing, hell I would probably be a cubicle monkey chasing the corporate ladder, fairly "successfully" with a growing pot belly and butt to match. Now I'm a work-from-home monkey hanging on the corporate fringe but trying not to get too dirty from it, and enjoying an overall balanced and comfortable life.
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Feb 4, 2013 - 05:29pm PT
Nutjob I've found some of your adventure reports to be truly inspirational.

I mean that.

DMT
mhay

climber
Reno, NV
Feb 4, 2013 - 05:30pm PT
Now I'm a work-from-home monkey hanging on the corporate fringe but trying not to get too dirty from it, and enjoying an overall balanced and comfortable life.

Well played Nutjob. I'm trying to go that route also.
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
Feb 4, 2013 - 07:22pm PT
After reading some of the other very honest answers I decided to post, even though it is nothing I talk about, even to my good friends...


So I was born in the end of 1986 in an area that received a lot of radiation post Chernobyl disaster (which happened in the spring of 1986 I believe). Not sure if it was a cause, but since I was 5 years old I have met MUCH MUCH more doctors than I had friends. I was hospitalized wayyyy more times than I left the town. I had severe asthma and a skin condition (I used to scratch myself till the skin on parts of my hands/legs was literally gone). At one point in time I had weekly blood transfusions because my body was covered with pus filled pimples (arms, legs, back, all over). It would be up and down, better and worse.
When my family moved to USA it got better. The climate here helped me get over my asthma. I started playing sports at a playground but not enough. Through my first 3 years in high school I worked in Dominos Pizza and got free food as a benefit. My diet sucked and by the time I was 16.5, I weighted 300 lbs!

I joined my high school (George Washington in SF) football team in 2003 and lost 40 lbs in a year. We also were undefeated SF champions in m senior year- 2004. After HS I started running, lfting weights, and boxing. 18-23 I would do a lot of boxing, muay thai and weight lifting.
Summer 2009, my boxing coach invited to go up Mt. Shasta. By that time I was 220 lbs of mostly muscle (at 6'2). I used my HS backpack, borrowed sleeping bag, no pad, no crampons, no ice axe- neither of us knew wtf we were doing. It was my first camping trip ever. I got to the summit pinnacle and got down alive because the snow allowed me to glissade. I didn't want to do anything with snow till I started doing peaks in Tahoe in January 2010. Than my friends and I did Whitney in March 2010 where I fell in love with mountaineering. Later I started climbing in the gym and a bit outside. Did a lot of peak bagging in Sierra in 2010 and completed Sierra Challenge (2010). After which I got into trad climbing and fell in love. In 2011 a friend and I did Mt. Denali unguided. A few month ago I did my first onsight 5.10c lead in Yosemite on cracks and a few days ago did my first onsight of a 5.10c face climb at owens river gorge. I love climbing and I hope it keeps my health only improving. It feels unreal to visit some of the places I see and be able to do things I do after not being able to run at all, having transfusions, constant hospital stays etc etc. I mean, running a lap around a track was a big milestone for me at one point. Hell, waking up without wheezing was one of the best mornings of my life. Oh and now I weight 180lbs- 120 lbs less than what I weighted when I was 16.5!

Without climbing I would probably have much more social life than I do now. Would lift weights and talk about what some guy on TV said/did.
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