It has come to my attention that although I set attainable goals, I also set insurmountable expectations. I realized that expectations only divert me in the opposite direction of attaining the goals I work so hard to reach. Setting expectations leaves me grasping for serenity… my mind becomes a cluster of pessimism not able to distinguish positive from negative. Although I try to put the blame for setting these expectations on others, I need to continue to realize this is me. I am doing this. It needs to stop.
Would I love to continue to build up my repertoire of 5.12s? Sure! Is it worth doing so at the cost of losing my enjoyment of climbing? Absolutely not. I have an appetite for putting all of my energy into something that’s at my limit (if not past it). I think finding a balance between both sending routes regardless of the grade and redpointing projects is going to be crucial for continuing to be passionate about the lifestyle I am so grateful to have.
Climbing saved my life. When I was in treatment back in 2012 and most recently this year, climbing kept pushing me to go to therapy regularly and to continue to see my nutritionist, psychiatrist, and physician. I couldn’t believe I had lost such an integral part of my life (for the time being), and I wanted it back more than anything. Climbing inspired me to strive for recovery (of which I’m still in the process of). I can’t let expectation setting soil the fervor I have for the sport, the community, and the most awe-inspiring scenery I’m able to embrace. I need to strive for balance and continue to enjoy all the aspects of climbing I love. I am lucky to have the opportunity to climb after my eating disorder almost latched ahold of it forever, and I can’t let expectation setting take away something I worked so hard to get back.
The mere act of climbing wasn’t the only thing inspiring me to kick my eating disorder’s ass, but I also missed the people that truly make my life what it is: my climbing family. Now that I am back climbing outside again and even climbing in a new gym, I have had the opportunity to grow my climbing family. Would I want my bad habit of setting expectations to erase my climbing family from my life? You’ve got to be crazy if you think the answer is yes. I’m ready to make a change.
I’m beginning the process of chasing routes that call my name “just because,” not only chasing routes for the grade. Every time I go to the crag I want to climb routes that both push my limit physically and mentally, and also routes that allow me just to flow and do my thing regardless of the grade. This is one of my long term goals, and life is all about the long term, right? Climbing is not going anywhere anytime soon. Forget expectations. Remember goals. But most importantly, stay psyched!