Perspective from Up Here

Last weekend I spent 4 days climbing rocks at the Red River Gorge in Kentucky.

Getting out of the city and into nature for the day has a way of putting what’s important and what’s not into perspective.  I’m not new to climbing, I’ve been hanging off rocks for over 20 years but every time I go climbing I have to face some form of fear to get to the bliss.

Climbing is certainly a high risk activity (thank you Outdoor Rec @ Lakehead University for teaching me that), but part of the risk can be controlled by having safe equipment, a solid climbing partner and double checking everything.  The risks that are out of your control are well….. her…. Mother Nature!

When someone leads up the climb, they can stay calm and relaxed even when they are falling or stuck or on the other hand they can freak, get super angry, kick/punch the rock (so silly cuz it will always hurt you more), or simply give up and come down.  It’s a powerful environment to bring out the worst or best in you.

One of the trippest parts of climbing for me is at the top of the climb, either clipping into the anchors at the top or cleaning off the gear at top and rapping down.  Your usually up there all alone and a mistake up there can be bad, really bad.  It does happen!  So, ya, yoga…. of course.  Breathing helps tremendously when you start loosing your shit up there.  It’s one of the few things to calm you down, a calm partner helps too but getting out of the head game is such a yoga thing.

It’s a great way to watch how the mind can sabotage you at any moment.  You can start off with confidence and then it’s eaten away by the fear/doubt/anger/ego monster.  This is where putting things into perspective is beneficial.  You can pause, breathe, look around at where you are, what you’re doing, what you’re freakin over, and then you move on.  I’d say that’s yoga in action and it has absolutely nothing to do with downward dog pose.

This past weekend I witnessed the incredible beauty of the Strawberry Full moon!  It lit up the campground with its milky bright light so much you didn’t even need a headlamp.  Staring up the moon and stars always teaches me that what I think is so huge, so insane, so profound is really a tiny speak in my life experience.  The passing clouds teach me that the light is there it just gets hidden sometimes but it’s never ever really gone.

Life lessons from the rock,


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