So much of my life pivots around climbing. I am full-heartedly passionate about it. I am so driven by goals that at times I genuinely feel as though I can't move forward in my life until I succeed. Usually this is a strength that pushes me to my very best, but in times like this it can be downright maddening. This is the longest period in my climbing - ever - that I have gone without accomplishing a goal (since September) and it's certainly not for lack of trying.
I am not (one of) the best, I am not (one of) the strongest, I am not (one of) the most talented. My strength is mostly in the fight. This route has pulled me to the bitter edge. How long am I willing to hold on? When do I throw in the towel? At what point is it just.. simply too much? I have never tried a route so many times before in my life. This is not at all about the grade any more, it's not about the victory or about the high fives or about the accolades. In some ways it doesn't even feel like a climb, it just feels like a challenge. This is purely about my passion and to what extent can I endure all of the doubt, all of the tension, all of the emotion.
I love this. As maddening as it is, as stressful and expensive and altogether pointless in most respects -- climbing somehow uniquely elicits such powerful emotion and introspection. I feel thoroughly tested, delirious from desire and uncertainty. When I climb Pachamama it will be unquestionably my hardest (mentally if not physically) route and furthermore one of the greatest achievements of my life thus far. I move into my final few days here, after extending my ticket twice. I never quite knew if I had the strength to hold on for this long, through so much doubt and through so many utterly exhausting ups and downs. Now I know. I do.