An Insight into the Mind of the Climber: A Logical Disorganization
If you were to step foot in my room on almost any given day, it would look like a hurricane had gone through it. Chalky, sweaty climbing clothes would be strewn across the floor, drawers would be hanging open with random articles of clothing spilling out, and smelly shoes would be lying in a corner. A guidebook, a plastic lantern, multiple rocks, and crumpled slips of paper would adorn my dresser, and two chalkbags, a beanie, and a headlamp dangle from my bedpost, a bedpost belonging to a bed that is a sea of twisted sheets.
Now, your room is probably not as bad as mine, but most climbers have an unorganized, messy, carefree bent. Unkempt, hippie-like hair and beards are common, as well as a lack of respect for clean clothing and a disturbing disregard for personal hygiene. Some of us rarely know what day it is, much less our schedule for the next week. Yet, when it comes to climbing, suddenly climbers care… a lot.
We plan climbing trips months ahead of time, peruse guidebooks in search for the next mega project, and pack and repack gear until we are sure that we haven’t forgotten anything. We create and follow our training plans with diligence, never miss a gym climbing session, and always arrive early, or at least on time, to every competition. Many of us also have a unique routine that we follow immediately before we climb. We have a particular way we tie our knot, a certain shoe we put on first, a time to chalk up and sequence, and an order to do all of this. On the wall, we focus on each and every hold, pouring all of our attention, energy, and determination into that one move, and the next, and the next, concentrating on the texture of the holds, the movement, the body positioning. Only after we have topped out the boulder or clipped the chains do we release our hold on this intense focus, and the triumphant joy comes flooding in.
We live for these moments, yearn and hunger for the satisfaction, the thrill, the feeling of simply being that climbing brings us. Because we are so focused on this, the rest of our lives often fall into disorganization. Climbing is one of our top priorities, and we arrange much of our lives around it. That passion, that love, that overwhelming joy calls to us and makes us forget everything else in pursuit of it.