The granite was sharp, biting into the skin with a burning sensation. She continued to look around her for the next hold. The route was pretty easy, but the terrain was new to her. This was the first time she had ever gone climbing, invited by a friend and she had said yes without really thinking about what it would mean.
But she was hooked. It wasn't the sunny day, the cool people she was hanging out with, or even the route. It was a feeling in her heart. It was as if she knew who she was. Focus, present to the experience, no attachment to a specific outcome, curious. All of these elements allowed her to feel like nothing else mattered. She was in relationship with her Self completely. The voice inside her that continually measures how to respond to the current situation was quiet. Because the voice was in awe.
Success is more than getting to the top, it is being in love with the process.
Take a moment to be quiet and reflect on the most memorable experience you have of climbing. Consider the moment in fullest detail. Remember it as if you were in that moment again. Sense the feelings it is bringing up for you, feel the sensations in your body, the sounds. Steeped in the memory, now ask yourself what does climbing mean to you, in only three words - what does climbing mean to you? Trust the first three words you hear. If you want to think about it, you will lose the truth. Trust what comes and then reflect on how the three words relate to you and climbing.
For example, you may have a words like connection. But as you reflect on connection, it may be a connection to something primal within yourself. Not necessarily connection to other climbers. Once you know these words, you can now make sure you create climbing opportunities that allow you to experience that. It may be somewhat challenging to experience that connection to something primal when you are climbing in a gym with loads of people and loud music. Doesn't mean you wouldn't do it, just means the expectation for what the experience will offer is realistic.