I’ve started climbing again. My body is sore and stiff, my hands are red, dry and roughed up, the old bunion on my foot is talking. I love all of it! Climbing was my life for a long time. Crashing head-on with Hashimoto’s changed that, in a rather rude and unexpected way. It’s been five years since I could do much of anything physically, and to get back on the rock (okay, indoor climbing in winter means pulling on plastic, not stone, but…) is like coming home. When I actually do get outside on the rock, I’m going to be geeked out like a puppy in the treat aisle.
I need climbing. There have been times in my life when climbing was the only activity that brought me joy, and was the thing that kept my head on straight. For climbers, sometimes it’s hard to explain “why we climb” to a non-climber. Yet I don’t feel the need to. It’s good enough to know it, and to share it with those who know it too. It’s a family of rough-hewn, wild-haired, passionate, fun-loving, irreverent people who laugh and tell lies around the campfire, who willingly take your life in their hands, let you do the same for them, and enjoy getting up in the dark and cold to hike to places that could be nothing other than heaven on earth. And we get to take our dogs with us.
I lost track of climbing in the past few years, and it found me again. I feel the fire again, it feels good to be in my body, to move and feel the grace of balance and strength, to struggle and do things I didn’t think I could do, and to share all that unspoken “why we do it” with people who know.
What puts fire in your blood, gives you joy, makes you look forward to tomorrow, sees you planning and scheming for your next adventure? I hope you follow that passion, because when we do that, we remember joy, and we can shine.