Another handful of months have passed. Lots of good things are happening and I know I’ve been delayed in providing updates. So let’s commence with some digital rope work and tie up some of these loose ends. Over the next few blog posts I will be getting back on the “sharp end” (climbing term for tying into a rope) by re-capping some of the progress being made behind-the-scenes while I was busy not writing on the blog.
PCI Clinic – September
In mid-September, I rewarded myself by using some birthday cash I had received to purchase a clinic session put on by Pro Climbers International (PCi). PCi is an organization that not only puts on clinics, but also takes on projects to preserve our environments and support our youth. Co-founder Kevin Jorgeson was one of three pro climbers putting on the clinic, along with Alex Johnson and Alex Puccio.
I went into the clinic with some specific goals. I wasn’t particularly looking to learn a new “move” or technique, although I did. I was interested in picking up their mentality and thought process. I know that what separates the elite from the average in any endeavor is mindset. And these three just further prove this point. First off, and not surprising, they were all very approachable and friendly. They were humble. And by humble, what I really mean is this: they did not downplay their abilities as climbers, but rather uplifted all of us as equally capable of growth with the appropriate amount of effort, effort they have put in for years.
They took time to just observe our climbing in order to gauge our starting point and then customized their input to benefit each individual. And they jumped right in with us, just like a session with your buddies at the gym. They joked around with each other and the positive energy grew as they fed off of each other. They even had a good time giving each other a hard time on a really hard comp style dyno problem.
One of the biggest mindset clicks I was able to make was initiated from Kevin Jorgeson and perpetuated by all three throughout the clinic. It was the fact that everything is interconnected in climbing, and a little bit of inefficiency (either physically or mentally) is carried along and dampens the next connection. Kevin used the example that everything starts in your toes and works its way up through your feet, calfs, knees, hips, spine, head, arms, hands, and eventually your finger tips. They showed how a simple foot position change affects the entire body’s position, which in turn impacts how you grip the hold (or how helpful the hold is to grip). This example of a physical chain-reaction can easily be applied mentally and psychologically as well. One small thought of doubt can lead to a downward spiral of negativity and eventually to failure. Things that make you go… HMMM!! Kind of opens the mind to consider, what else am I doing or not doing that is limiting my climbing potential? Or even my overall success at LIFE!?!?
Far and away, this was a fantastic experience for me and if/when they come back to the area… I’ll do it again in a heartbeat. I highly recommend going to the PCI website and checking for a clinic in your area and taking full advantage of the YEARS of wisdom and experience they have to offer.
Keep an eye out for another “knot in the rope” soon about an update on my climbing friends Captain America & Ninja Hoodie. But in the meantime, remember to…
~ Climb 4 Real ~
Next month, what was once a hope and desire, will come true. Ever since I learned of the organization PCi (Professional Climbers International) I had hoped and requested that they would put on a clinic in my neck of the woods. Well, Midwest Climbing Academy has made it happen.
And its official… I invested my birthday cash and will be learning directly from 3 of the best climbers and trainers in this sport I love. World Cup Boulder Alex Puccio, hometown hero and outdoor ‘rockstar’ Alex Johnson, and hardman all-discipline climber and PCi founder Kevin Jorgeson will be sharing from the wealth of their knowledge. I opted for the more general, efficiency and effectiveness clinic rather than the more specific competition style clinic.
Look for an update soon to see how it went.
~ Climb 4 Real ~
Thankful for Freedom! Freedoms like Life, Liberty, and the ability to Pursue Happiness. I feel that the pursuit is where the value is at. Just like in climbing, where because of the struggle, the victory is that much sweeter!
~ Climb 4 Real ~
Change – such a loaded word. In many cases it instills fear and worry. It is something to be resisted and avoided. It is uncomfortable. Change is sometimes tough because we fear the unknown, and everything on the other side of Change is unknown.
But there comes a time in every person’s life when “enough is enough”. Also a time when “not enough is not enough”. I’d venture to guess that we’ve all thought or said outloud, “Something HAS GOT to change!!” It is in these cases that we view change as a good thing. I propose these 2 thoughts to ponder regarding Change:
(1) It is happening all around us whether we embrace it or not
(2) It is not the change that is good or bad, it is our attitude toward it that determines the type of effect it will have on our lives.
I would like to illustrate this by being transparent with some of the changes here at Real World Climbing.
When I talk about being a climber living in the Real World, what I mean is: I’m just like 95% of the climbers in the world. I am fairly obsessed with this ‘activity’ and I think about it all the time the way a golf enthusiast thinks of their golf game.
But with all of the Real World Climbers out there, I have responsibilities: a 40+ hr./wk job, a never-ending honey-do list, a spouse and children that I need and want to spend time with.
While working in a cubicle and closet sized office environment for a several years, I have often dreamed and schemed of ways to make a living in something I was truly passionate about, as opposed to something that just pays the bills and allows small pockets of time to pursue climbing. After nearly 2 years without a full-fledged vacation, this agitation only magnified.
To be in full disclosure, I don’t think like the average employee. Having owned/operated a freelance business for several years, I am an entrepreneur that happens to have found himself in traditional employment. Needless to say, sitting in a cubicle, performing mundane tasks, and dreaming about climbing, at times I became a bit edgy and at times irritable.
I began drawing up plans for starting a second business, a Real World Climbing themed business. I found small pockets of opportunity and was launching into them, again on a freelance basis. It felt good to be on the front end of the change process, to be in control. Until… changes started happening on their own.
We found out we were expecting our 3rd child. And honestly, we were excited about the timing. As we neared the date of birth of our 3rd son, I notified my bosses on several occasions that I would be taking a full week of vacation. ‘No Problem’. Earlier in the year, the director of our department took another opportunity. A month after that the VP over the department transferred to marketing. It took nearly 6 months to hire even one of the replacements and when they did, this new director came into a tough situation. I don’t blame him for making his next decision, but it still stung. One by one, I saw my counterparts being let go… the ones that worked out of satellite offices. I worked in Minneapolis, our department was based in Indianapolis. So when I announced I was taking my week vacation, they politely thanked me for my service and let me know that I would not be needing to return after my son was born.
So in a matter of days, I was out of a job and welcoming Gavin into our family. 80% of me was completely relieved, but the 20% uncertainty remained.
You may or may not have noticed a 6 month blog posting hiatus here at Real World Climbing. I do apologize for my silence. I have really taken this opportunity to spend great quantity and quality time with my family. It has been extremely fun.
I checked off many long overdue items on my honey-do list. Like a complete kitchen/dining room face lift.
I also built yet another section to the Garage Climbing Gym. I couldn’t resist the itch… besides, I had a bunch of plywood donated and had to do something with it, right?
And I got serious about making a Real Living with what makes me feel Really Alive. I am thankful for how much I have learned from my 1st business. I am thankful for how much I have learned in my first year blogging on this site. And I am thankful for all that I have learned about climbing through books, videos, blogs, mentorship, and trial & error.
So enjoy the changes as they are rolled out here on Real World Climbing. Some small logistical changes are already in place. How do you like our new look? Like a new dedicated Twitter account: @realworldclimb And a much more interactive medium for Real World Climbers to collaborate on our brand spanking new facebook page.
Some of the exciting things to come include: more consistent content updates from me and guest writers, interviews with our fellow Real World Climbers, a video tour of the entire Garage Climbing Gym, and some further insight in how Real World Climbing is Really Making It.
Thanks for sticking with us!
~ Climb 4 Real ~
2013 has come to a close. I would like to thank you all for sharing in this thing we call ‘Climbing Life’. It has been a fun year. A good year. This post serves as the Year-in-Review for the first year of Real World Climbing (well… year and 25 days). Below I will share the top posts of the year in the following categories: most views, most comments, most shares, and authors choice. Without further adieu.
Most Viewed Post
This was by far the most viewed post. It was also one of my favorites to put together. My friends are digging in with wedding plans and it looks like September 27th 2014 will be the big day! This post also received a notable link-back from TheKnot.com
Most Commented Post
This was a fun post because so many of you chimed in with your recommendations. It makes me want to pack up my gear and my family and check out your favorite climbing spots.
Most Shared Post
This was a short write up on the sad news of the accidental death of the 12 year old Italian phenom Tito Traversa. The post was meant to serve as a reminder that even though climbing can be extremely rewarding, we should never become complacent and numb to the inherent dangers. About 6 months have passed, and I hope that we remember to double & triple check our gear, our partners, and ourselves. Have fun and keep safe, all while pushing the limits.
The Author’s Pick
One of my earliest posts has actually been one of my favorites so far. I played around with the idea of a home climbing wall ever since I started climbing. I designed dozens of wall before I ever pulled the trigger and built my first. To me designing a functional and fun wall is a big part of the excitement; playing with all the options that a particular space allows and then seeing it all come together. Even in 2013 I have done several modifications on my own wall and have designed 2 more walls for friends.
Yes, 2013 was a great year. But, I look forward to what 2014 brings to the table. I look forward to further developing this blog and sharpening up the content. I have quite a few post ideas in queue and I welcome your feedback, suggestions, and requests.
Thanks again for sharing your climbing journey with me. And …
~ Climb 4 Real ~