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Archive for September, 2013

Enthusiastic Learners

A new crew of climbers made a start today. This group of friends decided to explore rock climbing for their Senior Projects. They were the best first time climbers I have ever mentored. They wanted to get to the top, showed little fear, tried really hard, and truly seemed enthusiastic and grateful for the opportunity. They are also funny and articulate. All in all, this promises to be an enjoyable project. They climbed a 5.6 and 5.5 and then we attempted a 5.8. They were trying to learn technique on the crux move and didn’t want to give up until they could not hold on anymore. I had been off from climbing for most of the summer, hanging weekly to not lose everything. I struggled leading a 5.10a but didn’t fall. Not only do you lose strength when you lay off climbing but also moxy. Careful confidence is the way to proceed. 

It was so good to be out. The temperature ranged from low 50’s to mid 60’s with partly cloudy to occasional mostly cloudy, no insects, very few other climbers, dry rock, enthusiastic learners, progress made. 

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Rockin' First Timer

Rockin’ First Timer

Tandem belay

Tandem belay

Toughing it out in new shoes

Toughing it out in new shoes

Move over, please

Move over, please

How about some beta?

How about some beta?

Time to step it up- 5.8

Time to step it up- 5.8

 

Too long away- feels good

 

Good Crew, Good Day of Climbing

Good Crew, Good Day of Climbing

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I should never be too busy to observe beauty and reduce stress. I fully realize that the very nature of stress is that it causes you to not be able to see the end of the tunnel for all that you have to do. Therefore, you must decide that some things are more important than constantly being stressed. I can’t do that you may be thinking. I don’t have the money. I don’t have the time. Who will go with me? Where do I begin? I’m not interested. It’s not important. It’s too hard. That’s not my cup of tea. I don’t know why you think it’s such a big deal. I’ll get around to it.

Actually, no you won’t. Perhaps you don’t have mountains or beach or whatever around you. But most of us have something of beauty and solitude somewhere close at hand. Is there a single tree? Go sit under it. Mark out time to lower stress by considering all the good God has done and looking at the beauty in nature that He has provided. Do you have transportation? How much does it cost and how long will it take to walk in a park, or drive a short distance to a scenic area to enjoy. Life is short, so yes, hug your wife and kids, work hard, be honest, but also find a few moments in each week to get away from the blue light and the flat screen and the earbuds and just absorb natural beauty. 

While I’m on my mild little rant, pass this mode of de-stressing onto the next generation. They are being sucked in by brain-numbing music and images that are literally robbing them of the ability to think (check the research, particularly for children under 6). Teach them to sweat on a walk a little; lie and gaze at the clouds; identify a mushroom or the difference in bark on various trees or concentrate and focus on a distant object from a high vantage point. It will greatly widen their perspective and lower their whine factor.

Go with friends. Talk about things of substance. Take your time.

OK, I’m done, but yesterday was an example. I enjoyed the time with friends with both substantive adult and child talk, saw a great view, and participated in some mild exercise. Check it out.

Friends taking a break at the top

Friends taking a break at the top

Linville Gorge from Hawksbill

Linville Gorge from Hawksbill

De-stressed me

De-stressed me

My little friend

My little friend

Hazy late summer day

Hazy late summer day

The Galax strongly disseminated its astringent odor

The Galax strongly disseminated its astringent odor

M

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