Saturday, February 25, 2017

One Climb

Just one climb is all it took. To remember all that I'd forgotten. To remember how climbing stretches time. Time waits for you to calibrate. A second stretches as you look at footholds and envision just which part of the sticky-rubber climbing shoe toe box you're going to place on which part of the climbing hold and with what amount of pressure. How much of an inch extra can you eke out of alternate placements? Tick, tick, tick. You aren't even aware of how Time lets you think.

It is generous too when you move your gaze to the handholds. You gauge the solidity of each and intuitively calculate how much your hip must turn into the wall to elongate the side of your body and get millimeters out of your fingertips, enabling that perfect efficiency, the balance between stability and speed - the constant warring factions in climbing.

Your muscles begin the motion, seamlessly agreeing with the mind and eyes, slowly and deliberately snaking out to just the right touch, that  right amount of contact with the rock. And even then, Time is letting you see the next move...

Just one climb is all it took to remember the slowness, the presence of mind that climbing demands. Just one climb is all it took to remind me of its application in other other areas of my life. Just one glorious 10- gym climb with yellow tape awakened the memory: the how of doing things matters so so much.