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Beyond Passion


Submitted by el_cap on 2004-12-19

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After two hours of climbing, my hands were raw and covered in blisters; my forearms felt like they were about to explode, and I had yet to accomplish any new boulder problems for the day. As the night started to look pretty bleak and my hopes of hitting a harder problem began to fade, I stepped up to a problem that I had been working on for several days now without any success and began to climb. As I wrapped my hands around a nasty sloper, the bane of all climbing, I could feel my fingers begin to slip away, but determined as I was, I climbed on, and, before I knew it, had reached the top. As I looked at my hands wrapped in tape, wondering where the skin that was once a part of my fingertips had gone, I couldnít help but feel a surge of excitement.

Climbing is not an easy sport; you can ask anyone who does climb. If you donít have the will to push yourself to the limit every time, then you are never going to improve. Climbing is full of pain, frustration, and fear. So why do I climb? What drives me to go beyond the limits of human reason and place myself hundreds of feet above the ground entrusting my life to a strand of rope or sometimes just the strength of my limbs alone when death looms around every crack and corner? There is some unique connection that draws me to the rock, a certain bond that allows me to throw away all the pain, frustration, and fear and focus only on the climb at hand and myself. Every climber has different feelings about climbing and why they climb, but there is one thing that all climbers share. Every single climber is willing to put his life on the line and push themselves far beyond the breaking point to reach a goal he never thought possible.

Climbing gives me a sense of accomplishment greater than any other thing in the world. I give it my all, go through immense pain, and put my life on the line, and when I make it to the top in one piece, I feel invincible as if nothing can stop me, and I just want to jump off the cliff and fly. In addition to the swell of pride going on in my head, I feel connected to nature. Being able to enjoy the beauty and remoteness of climbing outdoors makes it almost all worth while. One of the greatest sights is standing hundreds of feet above the ground after risking life and limb to get there, and being able to see all around you for miles. Whether it is the mountains looming all around you, the glistening of the sun off of snow or water, or looking down at the clouds far below you, it takes your breath away and makes you appreciate what this world has to offer. Climbing is fun, intense, painful, scary, euphoric, and a rush all at the same time, and to put it very simply, that is why I climb.

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