What can I say- 2020 has been a struggling year for most of us. I haven’t posted here since mid-March, right when America was facing the cold hard truth that we weren’t immune to COVID-19. I, like many others, was downright terrified of the virus. I spent most of March, April, and May shut up in the house, doing my hangboard routine like everyone else, and only socializing with family and friends if it entailed a socially distanced walk outdoors, at least six feet apart. Gradually, life in lockdown became normalized. My comfort level with COVID seemed less like a looming omnipresent threat and more like a disruptive inconvenience.
And despite locking myself in my home most of this year, 2020 has been an incredible year of transition for me thus far. Through a pandemic, I quit my job of five years, started a new job, moved with only 3 weeks notice, planned our wedding, postponed said wedding, and still got married to the love of my life on top of a mountain with only our families in attendance. It has been a whirlwind of both bad and happy stress. Finally (post-election), I finally feel like I can come up for air.
Through it all, it has felt like climbing, particularly the motivation it used to give me, has gone on the backburner for me. While I have continued to climb, it has truly felt like for the first time in a long time that my heart and mind just aren’t in it. Despite the feelings of burnout, I’ve kept trying to get outdoors when I can, which as of mid-November, has totaled to nearly 40 days so far, less than last year but still not bad considering COVID restrictions. I’ve struggled finding focus, however, and have had more anxious days at the crag than not. Feeling of Why aren’t I progressing and Why do I do this and Why do I suck so much have definitely occupied my brain more than once. Its frustrating when the thing that used to consume a large space of my brain feels less meaningful. It’s demotivating when a trip to the crag feels like a report card instead of recess. Still can’t do this crux today? C- for effort today. In a nutshell, I am more consumed by my performance than leaning into something I used to do for joy. First world problems….
So that is where I am these days. I don’t have any solutions to offer other than making the best of each session and leaning into practices that I had largely ignored, including actively giving myself grace (this is a hard one), social climbing days, celebrating little victories, and through it all, finding love of the sport again, even without proud sends on my ticklist.
How are y’all feeling about climbing these days?
Likewise, whether you’re feeling burnout or not, cheers to a fruitful fall season and happy climbing!
Little Victories That Don’t Include Sending
Getting engaged in front of one of the New River Gorge’s most magnificent 5.11s (Matsuko!)
Exploring Richmond’s bouldering scene (mostly choss but still pretty fun!)
Building a home wall and learning better footwork/core work as a result
Climbing some a lot of really awesome 5.10s and being psyched on them
Achieving 20 consecutive pull-ups. Yes, that is for real. Happened last week!
Developing relationships with new climbing friends
Getting inspired by all my lady crushers out there on social media
Taking my four-year-old niece climbing- she crushed!