Between 1995 and 2003 I climbed a lot. I spent the early years living mostly in a car and climbing all over North America.
Of course when you put that much time into something, you get pretty good at it.
Fast forward a decade and a half and I find myself in old stomping grounds. Hueco Tanks.Now it is my son who is the strong one. He dedicates most days after school to climbing. His body is young and strong. He has fantastic climbing movement. While I may be pretty astute at movement, I am less strong and my body isn't always so happy.
My friend Michelle would tell me to just go and have fun. She studies old people and how to keep them engaged. While I respect the work she is doing, I am not so certain she gets how it feels to be getting older and less capable. The sadness one must overcome and the letting go of who you were in order to embrace where you are. It isn't easy.
It is life though.
We let go of being a student when we take on our first career that requires full attention. We let go of being single when we marry and being a young adult when we become parents. Eventually our parents get old and need us more, eventually dying and we let go of being a child. Then our children leave us or our partners leave us and we rediscover who we are again.
Life is continually changing how we see ourselves. Sometimes it is harder than others.
I don't want to be that young woman, living out of a car again. I enjoy being more well rounded in what I teach, coach. I enjoy being a mother and watching my child grow into an amazing human. I don't want the poverty that went with dedicating my life to climbing.
What I do want is people around me who share dreams with me. I do want to help people realize their dreams. I do want to spend time out in beautiful places like this park. I do want to continue to challenge myself. It will take work to let go of what I used to be able to do and be grateful for what I can do. But as I would say if I was coaching someone else, I will look for the success in the try, not the outcomes.