A few changes occurred. I got to thinking about my participation in the research trials as we drove out to Utah from San Diego and something about it just didn’t feel right. On paper it seemed like a great opportunity but in my heart it just felt wrong. I grappled with the contrast between having extra funding available to help us survive the year while sacrificing the climbing opportunities that inspired this project in the first place. I was stuck between the idealistic notion of what we should be doing versus the reality that we might wind up in dire straights down the road.

As we drove through the desert, we explored the pros and cons. By “explored” I mean we argued and debated. I took the “pro” stance, arguing that having extra money would help us complete the project and come full circle and thereby justify having to climb on “less inspiring terrain” in San Diego for the better part of the Spring. Stef took the position that we need to stay the course and ride the horse that got us here and worry about money when we have no choice but to take drastic action. As we went back and forth I felt less and less convinced of the answers and arguments I was giving and I just wanted to open up our schedule and not have any constraints of having to be at any lab or doctors appointments.

I managed to almost let go but I concluded that we would wait and see what the results of the screening turned out to before making any permanent decisions.

Once we arrived in Zion and met Ken and Naomi and made camp while planning our adventures together, the studies and finances quickly took a backseat in my mind. Until the phone rang.

It was the lead researcher on the team I had been in contact with and he told me that there were some inconsistencies in the tests and that they would need to re-do some of them in order to clear me for the study. I looked up at the huge sandstone formations of the Watchman, which looms over Springdale Utah in all its majesty and suddenly California seemed a long long way away. Once he informed me that I would have to go back within the week to retest, the handwriting was on the wall and I knew what the right thing to do was.

So, I am refocused and we are going back to plan A, more or less. Putting the day to day elements of Project 365 has gotten us to this point and we will continue to do that and if we reach a point where we have to take drastic action to keep this train rolling, then we will deal with it as it comes. For now, there is only one way to go, and that is up.