The place - Hueco Tanks.
The partner - my son, a stronger climber than me.
The story - humility.
I used to climb well. Some would say I still do. It is a perspective thing. I have one friend who tells me to never let anyone else define me. And she is right. The last time I was in Hueco was 2002. My son, seven months old and my body just recovering from breast feeding.
The time before that, 1998. I sent a V7... my first V7. From there, the grades continued to increase. Even after the 2002 visit, I sent harder problems. So imagine my shame, my disappointment, to be humbled by a V2 on our first day. And then on the third day to have a guide suggest the day will be too tough for me.
Rationally, I know I am many years and many 'non-training' days from 2002. Or even 2003. I made other choices with my time and energy. I do not regret those choices. I now have a very accomplished son who seems to be pretty mature and well adjusted. In my view, the best project I have ever embarked upon. I know my body is aging and it hurts more that it used to. It isn't as free moving as it used to be. It doesn't recover as well.
But I still felt humbled. I felt more than that, I felt disappointed.
And I could have walked away. After all, this body will not get younger, no matter how well I take care of it. I could have rationalized the end of my life as a climber. I could have rationalized all the choices that have led to this particular outcome.
Instead... I practiced RESILIENCY.
Resiliency is ADAPTABILITY. It is strength in action. It is not giving up. It is TRYING again, IN A DIFFERENT WAY.
The adaptability may be in how I define my success as a climber. It maybe in how I show up as a climber. It is shifting my expectations in order to shift my experience.
I never climbed in order to be the best at it.
I always climbed intrigued by how to move my body between the holds. That I can still do.
What I need to shift is my expectation of how those moves are graded by a subjective system. If I can't get away from my expectations around grades, then I can make up my own routes that don't have grades. I can worry about moves rather than routes.
What matters is that I still climb for a reason that matters to me. That makes me feel happy.
What is is about climbing that makes you happy? How do you use that to continue to strengthen your resiliency?