Stephen King's Library and The Balcony - Obed

My friends Wes and Brendan spent a week in the Obed sport climbing and bouldering whenever the weather conditions were favorable. I only had a day of free time so I made the drive on Friday night in the pouring rain, praying that the clouds would part and the sun would dry out the rock for the next day’s adventures. All three of us slept in our cars to avoid being soaked through the night. Thankfully Hotel Boone was just as cozy as ever. God really showed up the next morning, We got got a perfect day that was actually hot. I was in a tank top for the first climb of the day! Not what I expected for the first weekend in January but i’m not complaining.

We spent our Saturday working through Stephen King’s Library and The Balcony. Hiking in and seeing the roof on SK was incredible, not only is it one of the prettiest crags I’ve ever seen, we were climbing next to a beautiful waterfall the entire time. Choice.

We warmed up on a rough 10a Cheap Seats- not my usual choice of warm up, but hey you gotta bump up your climbing sometime…Then we headed over to Pet Cemetery 11a that links up to Rage 12c. This climb was amazing. I fell/hung plenty of times on it but I fought my way up to the start of Rage and got to the first perma-draw and it was just so fun the entire climb. I can’t wait to get stronger and go back to clean up Pet and hop back on Rage. Also we tackled “IT” 10a, and Gunslinger 11d. Gunslinger the hardest climb i’d attempted on lead and actually finished. I definitely think I can clean that one up the next time I visit the Obed. Another wishlist climb is an 11a called General Admission.

I was dead tired by the time I decided to give it a shot and it showed. I had blinders on and my brain was absolutely not working. I couldn’t find any beta and was falling all over the place. I finally figured out how to work some ridiculous heel hook move and pull out the crimps to the chains, but I was gassed and took a fall before I could clip anchors and had to climb back up to finish. I’ve got the beta on this one memorized and i’m gonna bag it next time. I’m so pleased with myself for trying hard stuff even if i’m failing. i’m using every single climb as growth this year.

My friend Wes absolutely crushed a mean slopey 12a/b called The Shining. It was awesome to watch his work on this through the day and pull out an amazing send right before the sun set.

The Obed seriously feels like a magical, tucked away, gem of a crag. Even though everyone knows about it, it just feels serene and calm. Can’t wait to go back and check out some other walls and the surrounding boulder fields. Also the weekend wouldn’t have been nearly as enjoyable without the friends I shared it with. Thanks for all the belays and words of encouragement, boys. Y’all are a treasure!

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Set Your Goals

Set your goals, manage your expectations, and give yourself some grace.

New year - new year’s resolutions. It’s January 3rd, you’ve read other people’s aspirations for the 2019, and even if you haven’t written any down for yourself I’m sure you’ve thought of a few you would like to accomplish. That’s where I’m at, so this is me making some public goals for myself. I did this last year on this forum and it was helpful to be able to look back at them a year later. I didn’t get all of them, but by simply setting them, it helped me set the tone for the year.

I’ve discussed setting goals - specifically for climbing - with multiple people recently and it’s been so interesting seeing how people feel about them. Some hate goal setting because it’s devastating when they don’t see the progress they wanted and it leads them to be discouraged with the entire process. Others flourish under the pressure of reaching their goals and making new ones. I find I fall somewhere in the middle of these two attitudes which is why I started this whole thing by saying “Set your goals, manage your expectations, and give yourself some grace.“

Goals should be set to push yourself, but in a healthy way. If you want to lose ten pounds, but end up losing eight instead, that isn’t a failure. You have to manage your expectations for yourself. Progress is progress no matter how small or large. Even if you maintain your weight but are living a healthier lifestyle, that’s still a win! And if you happen to gain one pound through your process, give yourself some grace because the goal you set for yourself wasn’t easy, but you’re trying. I’m not necessarily trying to lose weight, but it’s a simply analogy to follow along with to prove my point. This year I’m more focused on climbing and strength. I have decided on some lofty, moderate, and a few super obtainable objectives. Throughout the year I’m going to try my absolute best to keep my attitude positive and realize that if I’m working hard - and enjoying the process - that’s truly all that matters!

  • No desserts for longer than 5 1/2 months (that’s how long I made it last year)

  • 10 pull ups

  • Do at least 5 minutes of core work each night

  • Read 2 chapters of the Bible every day

  • Climb 11d clean

  • Climb v3 boulder

  • Lose 4-5 lbs

  • Wear less makeup - feel more confident in how I truly look

What goals are you setting this year?

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Miller Fork - Red River Gorge

Sometimes people think I’m crazy for day trips to the gorge. Six hours of driving for maybe seven hours of climbing might not be worth it to some, but when your vacation days are gone and the weather happens to be clear, you do what you gotta do! This October Saturday we ended up at Miller Fork Recreational Area and climbed at Secret Garden. There’s a pretty great array of routes ranging from 5.8 to 5.11.

We had such a great encouraging group this day. Thanks to their faith in me and patience, I met my 2018 goal of sending 11a!! I clipped anchors on Sloppy Seconds after my third burn. Needless to say, it was worth the six hours in the car to chase that feeling of accomplishment. On to next year’s goals!

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Summer Update

The thing about a blog is that it's a nice digital logbook. Little snippets of places, experiences, and thoughts that I felt were worth sharing. I haven't been keeping up with posting here lately and that's due to a number of things: lack of inspiration, ideas, and time. I've been climbing a lot and I have visited the Red three times in a span of a month. But on each of these, I didn't even bring my camera. Besides not wanting to lug around 5-7 extra pounds of equipment that is easily broken, I just haven't felt the desire to be the "documenter" of these trips. I want to be along for the ride and just enjoy it without  feeling........somewhat disconnected from everyone else. When I take a lot of photos on trips, it sometimes feels like I'm on the job instead of being on vacation.

At the same time, I do regret not having some quality photo memories of these little weekend escapes. Maybe next time I'll bring my gear and just take a few snaps to look back on, but for now. Here are a few iPhone grabs to show you where I've been in the past few months.

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