There’s No Crying in Climbing… Until Today

Four months down. Well, technically tomorrow, but we were sorta on the road (at least out of a house) four months ago today.  That means we are only supposed to have one month left.  Hmm. Ha ha. We’ll see…

Well, today frustration and being sick caught up with me.  I have been feeling like this trip didn’t pan out quite the way I expected with my phone working as a wifi hotspot and the solar power charger not working (making it difficult to keep up with the things we had planned to do), spending more time indoors at family’s houses because of rain and needing to earn money and unsurety about plans with others, my climbing skills and strength weakening, etc. I was able to complete 5.11s on top rope and 5.9/5.10s on lead; I am now struggling with pitifully low grades and not leading since I was in Rumney. It was on the top of a trad 5.6 that it all culminated into a point of no return.

I cried. On the rock.  I just buried my head into the crook of my arm and sobbed. Then, with Steve’s encouragement, I finished the route to continue my sob-session while being lowered to the ground.

I felt like the trip had been a waste of time, I didn’t like climbing at all anymore.

It was Steve who talked some sense into me.  He tried to explain that a lot of the circumstances were beyond our control- solar panel not working, the hurricane, the tropical storms, his grandmother passing away, etc.  I just sat there with my lower lip trembling, feeling defeated.  It took a while for me to let go of my self-pity, but I got there.  It doesn’t’ mean that all of a sudden I had a “Rocky” moment and came out victorious against all the other routes I tried- in fact, the last 5.8 I tried to get on kicked me off after the first move- an overhanging start.  But at least I felt better about some of the things we’ve accomplished, seen and climbed.  I knew that when we had been climbing every day out West, where things were sunny and dry, I had seriously progressed in my ability.  It was partially that knowledge that frustrated me, but also that talked some sense into me.

It wasn’t that I didn’t like climbing.  It was that I didn’t like getting worse when I had gotten so much better in climbing.  I didn’t like the digression.  Understandable!

At the end of the day, we had to get led back to our car by another group with headlamps because our last climb ended in the dark and then Steve’s headlamp died.  We stumbled quite a bit, but made it through alright.  Made a huge pasta dinner, and fell promptly asleep.

4 Responses to “There’s No Crying in Climbing… Until Today”

  1. Amy C

    I totally feel you, Gina. Those ‘off days’ can weigh on us—especially when they feel more like weeks. I tend to cry a lot when climbing (something about constantly pushing my boundaries and comfort level). So glad to hear you’re feeling better.

    Take a deep breath and allow yourself to have a few tough days on the rock here and there… you’ll be back in form in no time! :)

    • Gina

      Thanks, Miss Amy! I’m so glad we got to meet in person at Smith and share some experiences along the way with regards to the ups and downs of traveling (thanks for the advice in Smith, btw! It’s come in handy lots!). It’s hard to go easy on yourself when things are in the down slump, but you’re right! We can’t perform perfectly every day, eh? Thanks for the perspective. =)

  2. Eileen

    Just wanted to leave you a virtual hug. I can relate to feeling down about not feeling like I have been progressing – or even regressing in climbing.

    I have a post coming up on 7 days that were supposed to have been spent all in Yosemite climbing but ended up not quite what we had thought. It will include me backing off of a lead too.

  3. Gina


    Leave the post here when you have it up. I’m sure we’d love to read it as well as anyone coming across this post here. Amy’s was along the same lines as well. We could create a support group! =)


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