December 5, 2012 posted by

Revisiting Psyche

Yesterday Bob Banks posted an article titled Revisiting Psyche. The gist of it is that he ran across an old bouldering guide (written by me) that he had all marked up in his quest to do every problem in it and couldn’t believe how psyched he’d once been.

Today I picked up my old copy of Edwards’ Santa Barbara Bouldering (1997) and thumbed through it for the first time in over a decade. Marked on the inside cover with my name and The Castle phone number should I lose it, it’s quite a walk down memory lane. The book is bound together with a rubber band, torn up and marked up with scribbled field notes and comments on nearly every page. At my current state of climbing psyche, it’s hard to believe how psyched I once was, spending every rest day walking through the hills looking for more stuff.

We all move on in life. Bob went on with those notes to write the definitive book on Santa Barbara bouldering. But this is a cool post for another reason. Reminiscing of bygone days also plants seeds. Those days are gone, sure, but reflecting on them helps create new ideas, dreams, and motivation.

It’s inevitable that priorities shift and single-minded focus becomes fractured. But with life comes experience. An invaluable tool for sorting things out efficiently. “Youth is wasted on the young,” said everyone’s favorite wit spewer, Oscar Wilde. It’s a sentiment hard to argue with,especially doing a workout at P3 or seeing teenage girls do this. But I do fight it or, more accurately, roll with it pretending it’s not happening. My life is better than it was, I can continually improve it, and there are still lifetime goals out there, even purely physical ones, to be obtained before I ride off into the sunset.

Finally, it’s important to note that I am not alone in this belief. I can be a tad optimistic, as Bob likes to point out, but I’m still getting stuff done and there’s no good reason that you can’t, too. Thanks to my job I get to witness people who change their lives on a daily basis, at almost any age. And while we never get our youth back we simply don’t need to. We can do anything we want. And we can do it now.

pic: cover lore – yes, that’s tuco the rat, standing on top of one of the better boulder problems i’ve established. more shockingly, it’s phil 1) bouldering 2) outside 3)not at the tor. finally, it’s a jason houston shot, bringing back even more memories of psyche and singlemindedness.


  • I've never climbed or done any bouldering and everything I know about either comes from your blog. But I would love to start bouldering as I think it would be a great challenge. And I'm afraid of heights so it seems like the more logical choice between the two.

  • That's the hardest boulder problem I've done. Love it.And I'm like Bob. I cant' believe that I was so psyched to climb when now I really couldn't care less. I still like climbing, but it's all about the camaraderie, not the climbing.~R

  • Well put Steve. Speaking of revisiting psyche, we had a viewing of the Eiger Sanction at my place last week followed by the beginning of winter training. Thinking I might finish what Phil and I started on Hell of Being Crushed Alive. Saving vacation time for a spring bid.

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