Too many times in life I have looked at things I wanted to do, paths I wanted to take or choices I wanted to make and felt like somehow, there was some unspoken rule against doing what I wanted to–simply because when I looked around, no one else was doing it. As far back as my college years, ideas very similar to what LivingVertical has become were kicked around at keg parties but I never acted on them because in my mind, if it was a good idea, then someone else would already be doing it.

Another hole I have stepped into at times (very often of recently) is thinking that the things I want to do are only realistic for “other” people who aren’t me. Not too rational, is it? It’s this instinctual denial that always crops up and defers to others for no good reason.

Climbing in Joshua Tree before the Project365 screening on Saturday night. A little chilly but great fun!
Climbing in Joshua Tree before the Project365 screening on Saturday night. A little chilly but great fun!
With all the introspection that has been taking place over the last week or so I have been recognizing that now more than ever, I need to abandon this mindset. Climbing more. Thinking, doubting less. More action. Less talk. Less worrying who reads my meaningless and self involved blog posts. I feel guilty “abandoning” the online way in favor of the ease of climbing, but I have to follow my heart. I know that the real work is found on social media and that goofing off and risking life and limb is self indulgent childs-play.

So bear with me and forgive–because I have logged nearly as many days of climbing in 2014 so far as I did in all of 2013, and I can’t promise that I will slow my roll any time soon. Being on the road and screening the documentary is wonderful and all, but February looks significantly more open, and I have some plans to get cracking once I am back in Zion. I’m debating a few smaller objectives but I feel like I need to grind down the areas of mediocrity in my life through some suffering that only climbing can adequately provide.

Back on the road--embracing car dwelling--and the amazing freedom and experiences that go along with the discomfort. This was my view waking up along 15 in California.
Back on the road–embracing car dwelling–and the amazing freedom and experiences that go along with the discomfort. This was my view waking up along 15 in California.
Right now I am in Joshua Tree (California) preparing for the final screening before I head home. I probably should have said something about that in the introduction–but what the hell, people, this is my blog and I’ll structure it how I want! In any case, during my time in Joshua Tree, I have been discovering adventure through climbing new, previously unclimbed routes. This is something I have never done before because I thought that kind of thing was for other people. You know, “real” climbers.

Leading the FA (first ascent) of  "Nic-arete and Insulin" 5.9+, my first ever new route!
Leading the FA (first ascent) of “Nic-arete and Insulin” 5.9+, my first ever new route!
Working out some moves on a possibly unclimbed boulder--some really cool lines on this one!
Working out some moves on a possibly unclimbed boulder–some really cool lines on this one!
Nope. Turns out any hack can go out there and look with fresh eyes and find their own masterpiece in stone. At the end of the day, that’s all anyone is really doing–hack or pro, it’s all a game! There is never a perfect time or an invitation. There are always opportunities but even then, more of then than not we have to create them–or at least recognize them and reach out to take them. No opportunity will do any good if we don’t have the will to seize it.

This is Tyler. I had the privilege to climb his new routes during my time in Joshua Tree. Tyler has one hand and still crushes it. No excuses, just finds a way to get it done. Thats motivating!
This is Tyler. I had the privilege to climb his new routes during my time in Joshua Tree. Tyler has one hand and still crushes it. No excuses, just finds a way to get it done. Thats motivating!
So yeah, I went out and got to climb some new routes. No big deal. But also at the same time, kind of a big deal. So, now I have just a little more motivation and confidence to go out there and push myself further on new terrain–to fulfill my vision for my climbing. That means doing more, talking, worrying and posting less.

Joshua Tree was a wonderful experience thanks to this man, Todd. He and his family hosted me, took me climbing entertained me and are wonderful friends. Todd opened his home to the community where we screened the film with over 60 people in attendance and he went to great lengths to hype the event and get people out!
Joshua Tree was a wonderful experience thanks to this man, Todd. He and his family hosted me, took me climbing entertained me and are wonderful friends. Todd opened his home to the community where we screened the film with over 60 people in attendance and he went to great lengths to hype the event and get people out!

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Lots of people showed up--and we had some star power at the show-- Tucker Tech and Jim Bridwell. Climbing LEGENDS. I had the pleasure of climbing with Tucker and listening to Jim speak about socio-political issues while imbibing significant volumes of beer...but the man has some incredible, incredible stories of climbings golden age...
Lots of people showed up–and we had some star power at the show– Tucker Tech and Jim Bridwell. Climbing LEGENDS.
New friends, heading back from climbing rocks. Simple, but profound.
New friends, heading back from climbing rocks. Simple, but profound.

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Fast forward several days and I am back home in Zion. The weather is pretty fine and my calendar is pretty clear for the month of February so I am preparing for some bigwall adventures–some solo, others with a partner as it works out. Either way, I need to take time to re-focus on climbing and push myself in a different way. I’ve come to the conclusion that while diabetes is an invisible illness, the answer isn’t to make this condition more noticeable than it needs to be. The answer is to make LIFE with diabetes more visible as something that totally kicks ass. Because it can. And it does.

Working on technical systems in prep for February. Starting small to go big and go beyond Diabetes!
Working on technical systems in prep for February. Starting small to go big and go beyond Diabetes!
Climbing photos have cams and ropes and harnesses in them. But no one climbs up a thousand feet off the ground to focus on the stuff that got them there. Diabetes is what we make of it, and I am going to make it my reason to rage in February!