It’s Christmas eve for the vast majority of the world, but for me its day 342. I can smell the finish line and everything else is falling by the wayside. I am aware of the holidays, but I am pretty detached at the same time. Currently I am in Springdale UT, outside of Zion National Park and the weather has been my second biggest adversary, checking in just behind the voices in my head.

Climbing has been good, but I have been dodging rain a bit more than I had expected to. It finally dried out enough to do some more intensive bouldering and since I am now alone for the next several weeks, it seemed to be the green light to really get after it, and work on some of the projects that I have in Moe’s Valley down in St George. Being alone is the biggest challenge for me with climbing–having a partner to keep me out of my own head is very  important.

Today my plan was to climb after breakfast. I shot a little video and cleaned up and organized my gear and prepared to head out. My sugar was not abnormally high, but it wasn’t low either. I was running around 150, so I figured that I would be good to go, especially once I began climbing. It had been hours since I’d eaten anything…

Driving down to St George my sugar started climbing. I was unbelievably un-psyched: feeling lethargic, blood sugar rising and heading down to boulder in the cold and muddy desert while alone in a new place for christmas–and this is another gripe that has lain dormant but in the presence of high blood sugar I felt obligated to fume about the irony that I would find myself dodging precipitation whilst in the desert!

I hate writing about hard days because I feel like it’s complaining and I hate bitching and moaning, even when it’s coming from me…but I definitely just went with the “fake it till you make it” approach and forced myself to go through the motions. I plodded out to the boulders and slipped in the mud–mercifully unobserved, but it was right on par with the rest of the day. I leveled out right around 195 and I found some “easy” boulder problems to warm up on.

Easy is a relative term…because while these routes felt super easy several days ago, today they felt like pulling teeth. Throw for the hold up and left. Fingers snag the hold but I can feel my bodyweight peeling me away from the rock. I land hard, and stumble into the mud near the dry area beneath the boulder. Repeat many many times.

As I kept trying, I began to stop caring about the fact that I was feeling weak. I just got lost in the movement, however desperate it was. Eventually, the pieces came together and I began to get closer to the “zone”. I wasnt feeling strong, but I was able to re-calibrate my goals for the day based on where my upper limit was showing itself to be.

In the end, it was still a real tough outing, but I kept after it. I worked on one V4 problem which I sent after some effort and it felt really good to sort out the moves and put it all together, feeling it get easier each time I tried it until I sent.

It was nearly dark by the time I walked back out to the car–my sugar was beginning to drop with the hiking out and I accepted the fact that some days you eat the bear and some days the bear eats you. But knowing that I made it over the mental/emotional hump, managing to psych myself up enough to get after it with high BGs, I felt a little bit of comfort knowing that while the bear certainly ate me, I’m pretty sure I gave him a fair bit of indigestion in return!

Quick update–our Facebook page has broken 1000 likes! This is a milestone along a path that has been paved with the love, support and care from so many of you. I cant thank everyone enough for your support. Days like these are where I am forced to really dig deep, I really appreciate the community of friends and family that have been here for me.

so…Merry Christmas! Go eat the bear, before he eats you!