As a rock climber and avid traveler, I live for trips. I love short adventures into new areas or even going back to some of my favorites. The longer the trip the better. When I’m out on an adventure, I’m on cloud 9. Living life at the max exactly how I want. Not a worry in the world. For a short time, all my problems cease to exist and nothing else matters. It’s a feeling of absolute freedom that I wish I could explain. It’s like living in a dream world.
However, it’s hard to maintain the high of an amazing trip. At some point, you must wake up. For me, that’s as a trip comes to an end. It’s the morning I wake up and go to work, leaving my girlfriend in bed to catch a few more hours of sleep before she makes her journey home. Sometimes the end is the plane touching down or just a long, lonely drive home. I know the fun isn’t over, simply on a pause until the next time. Either way, the feeling is the same.
The day after is always spent the same way. Regardless of my obligations for the day, my mind fades in and out of reliving the highlights of the adventure I just had and wondering when the next trip may be. I’m not a full-time traveler or professional climber. I’m a cabinet maker. Although looking at my Facebook or Instagram may lead one to believe I’m always on the road, at the crag, or on a crazy adventure, that’s just not the case. The reality is that it’s only a small portion of my life. However, It is the part of my life that means the most to me and occupies most of my thoughts. It’s the part of my life that drives me forward and inspires me to chase my dreams.
The fluctuation between the excitement of an awesome adventure and day to day life can be a challenge. It often feels like a mental rollercoaster. The epic highs of an amazing trip can make day to day life feel like a major low, bordering on depression. That isn’t to say that normal life is bad. My life is actually really good. I work at a job I don’t hate with people that I really like. I go to the gym and get to train almost every day. I have awesome friends and a great girl. Life is good. It’s the comparison that gets me. Longs Peak is big but it’s not Everest big. I love my Subaru, its great, but if i got to drive a Ferrari on the weekends, my Monday commute in the Suby would be a bit dull. Right?
I’m an over thinker. I can’t help it. It’s just who I am. It causes a lot of stress and anxiety, however all that disappears when I’m on the road traveling climbing or snowboarding with Michelle. I don’t think about all the what ifs. All the thousands of scenarios for everything that gets in my head when I’m doing mindless tasks through the week and not mentally stimulated. When I’m traveling and climbing, I simply enjoy the moment and I’m completely content. It’s complete happiness. There are no worries about my career or possible upcoming move west, no stress about bills or if my apartment is clean. Nah, I’m at peace.
Then again, I go back home, back to work… back to a world were I simply go through the motions. I go back to the stress of over thinking and anxiety. Again, I have a great life, a life that I love. I’m not complaining. It’s the comparison; even a short weekend in my home crag spent taking whips on whatever proj I’m working, followed by belaying Michelle on hers is exponentially more mentally stimulating, even though it’s something I’ve done many times. That’s because it’s where my passion resides. True passion. Passion that consumes every aspect of my life. Sharing that with others who feel the same way is a wonderful feeling to say the least.
I’m sure that I’m not the only one that feels this way. I can’t be. I’m sure everyone’s experience is a little different. After all, no two people are exactly the same. It’s simply hard to go from doing something that you’re so incredibly passionate about to doing something that you’re, well, not. Right? Those of us that eat, sleep, and breathe climbing are in hell when we are forced to go weeks without it. I’m addicted to climbing…to traveling. I’ll admit it. Adventure is my drug of choice so maybe the low I feel after a spectacular trip is like the withdraws a junky feels without drugs. I don’t really know.
Either way, it’s ok. I’m not going to change and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Well, maybe more climbing but more climbing makes everything better, right? So, the withdrawals from not getting to climb with friends for a little while suck. Oh well. It’s nothing compared to the joys and excitement of the sport I love and the trips I take. I still get to climb more than most. The experiences I’ve had because of rock climbing are amazing and far too many to list. A lot of my best friends including my current partner in climbing and life I met at a crag or a campground for climbers in the middle of nowhere. For me thats home. It’s made the last few years of my life a wild ride to say the least.