Make the Most of Where You Are

Real life isn’t that glamorous. I work a 40 hour a week job in accounting. I don’t get to camp, hike, or climb every weekend. I’m stressed about debt 85% of the time and I don’t even have $500 in savings, currently. Most of my evenings are spent alone, with my cat, eating non healthy food, and watching BBC crime dramas.

And that’s fine.

In this Instagram world full of comparison , FOMO (fear of missing out), van life, and tiny homes - it’s easy to feel like everyone is living the BEST life while you are wasting away behind a desk.
It’s not.
You and the majority of the world are doing the same exact thing and feeling the exact same way. That may not be super encouraging, but let me get to my main point. Just because you are living what seems to be a boring or humdrum life, you have the ability to make the most of it simply by managing your perspective. Start finding the joy in the small things that make up your day or routine.

In the past three months, i’ve developed the habit of spending five to fifteen minutes on my yoga mat with my morning cup of coffee. I didn’t really do it for enjoyment at first, I was combating constant lower back pain. But along with helping manage my back issues, it also helped me savor my morning and my personal space at home. I love seeing the morning rays of sunshine come through the windows while I sip my coffee and do some cat/cow flows. I’ve also started a little routine of grabbing a coffee and perusing my favorite thrift store when I get off work on Wednesdays. I don’t have to buy anything, but it’s a special little thing that helps push me through the week..

Adult life is full of a lot of responsibilities and commitments that aren’t necessarily “fun”. We can’t all sell our belongings, buy a van, and hit the road and climb full time while somehow still paying bills (more power to you if you can, however, you are not the majority). But you can find little things throughout your days to help you get out of the monotonous rut.

Go to the park on Tuesdays, buy a new plant and try to keep it alive for more than a month, do some morning stretches, go for a walk with your coffee before work, bake some bread. Things don’t have to be an adventure to be enjoyable. I think it’s important to be able to find contentment in the mundane because, let’s face it, if you have a job that allows you to pay your bills, a vehicle that runs, family or friends that you can talk to, a smartphone, and $3.50 for an iced coffee, you’re doing alright, and life is pretty stinkin’ good.

Make the most out of where you are - it’s probably pretty great.


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!


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?


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!