Monday, June 29, 2009

Prose After 24 Hours Of Climbing

24 Hours of Gunnison Glory has passed, but for volunteers us it was more like 48 or even more, but still after only seven hours of sleep in the last two days I had to keep climbing to reach my goal of 30 climbs for the weekend.

Gunnison Glory was the most effort I have ever put into organizing a climbing event, and it was by far the most intense; imagine climbing as much as you can in a 24 hour time period. Imagine night approaching and 40 climbers scattered about Hartman Rocks with the skies full of red, blue, and purple, lightning, rainbows trying to get just one more climb in, or savoring the moment.

You may notice in this writing my thought jumping from one to the next; for the readers sake I hope you know what 24 Hours of Gunnison Glory actually is. Now, completed (it was held this past weekend June 26-28 at Hartmans) it is the Western United States’ only 24 hour climbing competition. But to me it is a verb, a memory, fresh in my mind but still blended with lack of sleep, exhaustion and euphoria.

I often wonder why humans do what they do: on one side why is it so hard to brake our bad habits why are we driven to have that extra drink or say that extra negative word in a fight? On the positive side what drives people to push limits in athletics, or to volunteer that extra hour, do everything they can to help in their community.

Thinking of 24 Hours of Gunnison Glory, why even after it had passed did I feel compelled to climb some extra routes to make my goal of 30 for the weekend?
I am a man of many flaws. I drink too much coffee and beer sometimes, I am not always the nicest too my friends and many times I say negative things I shouldn’t; typically I take things too far.

I have always said if I never came out West from Illinois and started climbing and doing other Re-Creational activities I would either be dead or in jail. Climbing has brought so much positivity in my life; friends, health, and the mind expansion to try a little harder, do a little better, if you want something put in the effort and it is yours.

With climbing one can always try harder to achieve the goal. Many climbing friends have taught me this; too many to name.

So after 24 Hours of Gunnison Glory was over, and I had only completed 20 routes, I felt compelled to achieve my goal.

Hartmans is rolling sagebrush, clouds that billow, blue sky that is the bluest you’ve seen, granite boulders that go on forever. A sublime landscape inspring, tell you that nature is king and always will be; the man-made world will never compare, and the man-made world is just us rearranging nature.

But back to the climbing; little sleep over two days, feeling responsible for the 40 climbers out and about for the 24 hour vision quest/ climbing competition. Now that the event was over the responsibility had vanished. A weight lifted off my shoulders, the euphoria of accomplishment mixed with exhaustion, fingers sore to the bone, but still climbing to achieve the goal, the goal, it’s what we put in mind so that we grow, so that we have something to work towards.

I’d maybe say that I felt the release the accomplishment when I topped out on the 30th boulder problem of the day; but the release, the zen, the feeling that we’re looking for that we had in childhood and that we find now and again if we believe in love and in magic and in hardwork; that feeling came somewhere between the 1st and 30th climb; somewhere from head to toe; of being in the moment, being aware that I am still alive and all dreams are possible, that came to me somewhere before or after or during 24 Hours of Gunnison Glory. And, if my words make sense, and you’re feeling this, well we’re on this journey together and there is much to do, to see, to feel, and please….take the time to try a little harder, see more, live this life to the fullest.


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