Rambling Thoughts

I saw a post on TheStonemind about types of climbers which set my mind to going in all manner of weird directions.  At first I started wondering about what type of climber I thought I was, then I wondered what type of climber other people thought I was, the I wondered which one was right, then I wondered about why the other one was wrong?

I’ve always been interested in the difference between how we see the world and how the world sees us.  Personally, I think I’m  very poor at understanding how the world views me.  I see myself as being/acting one way, but when I talk to people about how I come across, it’s very different from what I intended.  I think at times this is due to a different starting point.  For example, when my wife and I met(10 years ago) we were talking and the subject of climbing came up.  She asked if I was “any good at climbing”?  I responded that I was pretty good.  From my point of view, this was an honest and somewhat humble view.  From her point of view (not knowing me at all), she perceived this as arrogant.  Perspective changes everything.

The StoneMind post lists 10 climber types: Couch Crushers (aka Naturals) , Elites, High Rollers, IKEs (I Know Everything’s), OCGs (Original Climbing Gangstas), Purists, Self-Worthers, Soul Climbers (aka Unicorns), Trainers, and Widgeteers.

I think most people fall into more than one type, so how do I see myself as a climber?  Part Elite, Self-Worther, Soul Climber, and Trainer.  How do I think others see me? Couch-Crusher, Elite, IKE, Self-worther, Trainer.  I’m starting to understand the difference, but I definitely don’t fully get it. :)

I’ve questioned myself many times about why I climb.  More to the point, why do I obsess about climbing?  Why do I dream, daydream, plan way too much of my life around it?  I honestly don’t think I have a good answer.  One part of me says that I have a very sensitive ego, and I have a need to be good at something.   I’m good at climbing, so I do more of it.  Another part of me gets pure joy and peace from spending time in places like Hatcher Pass and Ptarmigan.  Another part of me has a fascination with the zen-like state it takes to climb at your personal peak,  the balance between ultimate focus and pure relaxation.

I guess the bottom line for me is that climbing touches me like nothing else in my life.  It has taught me so much about myself and about life, that I can’t imagine what life would be like without climbing.