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.


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?


Failing is Good for You

A few quick thoughts on failure after a weekend of climbing in Tennessee and not necessary succeeding. These are mostly applicable to my situation of being shut down over and over while leading a 5.9 named L.A.G., but maybe these thoughts can work in general life as well.

  1. Failing puts your ego in check. You aren’t as amazing as you think you are. Get your brain back down on the same plane as everyone else. Have confidence in your abilities, but don’t think you’re the most talented person in the room.

  2. It means you tried! Most likely, it also means you tried something difficult and or scary. Even if you didn’t nail it, you pushed yourself outside your comfort zone.

  3. You’ll do better next time. Even if you don’t finish, you’re progressing forward with each piece you put together.

  4. You probably learned something. Maybe how to do better and also have a better attitude next time.

  5. Anyone who has never made a mistake, has never tried anything new - Albert Einstein


An Ode to a Harness

An Ode to a Harness

One of my favorite writers and outdoor personality recently wrote a wonderful piece about the Joy of Wearing out a Piece of Gear. He published this on the exact day I had purchased a new climbing harness for the first time in five years.

I’ve always formed an attachment with my favorite gear. My hiking boots are my friends, my pack is a companion, my climbing shoes are my armor, and my car is basically my boyfriend (though honestly we fight more than anyone in a relationship should…). It takes a lot of trial and error to find the gear that works for you, that feels reliable, and that will be in it for the long haul. One of those pieces for me is my very first climbing harness.

In 2013 I started venturing down to Nashville every couple of weeks to climb with my brother. Eventually the rental harnesses started seeming more and more lame to me. If I start a new hobby, I usually don’t take long jumping into the gear side of things - my bank account’s greatest downfall. So I went online and found the first ladies harness in a not too sickening girly color and bought it. The dusty purple  Black Diamond primrose harness was mine.

This harness took me from 5.6s to 5.12- (okay I've only climbed that once but it counts), it took me through two relationships, my first outdoor climbing trip, my first lead fall, trips to Nashville, my job at my new local gym, and so many new friendships in the climbing community. It’s completely discolored from sweat and grime, it’s stretched out so far that it’s a size too big, and I have the waistband doubled over to keep it secured on my hips. The tags on the inside have disintegrated and the leg loops are worn. But through it all, this harness has kept me safe and secure for the last five years. It’s seen my confidence in my abilities grow, my muscles strengthen, and my body change for the better. However, I'll never forget the time I put it on upside down AND backwards at a gym after I hadn’t used it in a year. I’ll never not be embarrassed about that unbelievable blunder….

I’m so thankful I bought this harness. But the time has come to say goodbye. I’ve bought a new one that is updated, clean (for now), the right size, and all shiny and new. I’m excited to make new memories with this one, but i'll always cherish the ones made in my very first harness.