Do what you love. Love what you do.
This is the mantra of climber Sonnie Trotter’s web site. Because of this attitude I make it a stop whenever I’m trying to catch up on news in the sport. Trotter is one of the better climbers in the world but that’s not why I’m a fan. Instead I’m there to remind myself what’s really important in life, which is whatever we happen to be doing right this minute, and Sonnie’s site exudes that.
Sometimes, especially when work is hectic, I get sucked into the “big picture” world of accomplishment. And while goals and objectives are vital for motivation they are ultimately just tools. If used wrong they will create distraction from your daily life. And if your daily life sucks than your life sucks. Period. Sometimes I need a reminder, especially when things aren’t going as planned.
A successful life is one in which meaning is found in day to day existence. There is no way to know when it will end so you’d better find a reason to enjoy today, no matter what’s on the agenda. I’ve read and heard many stories of people who have survived gruesome situations, such as long stints in concentration or refugee camps, and most of them echo the same sentiment. The key to surviving is to find meaning and love in your daily life, no matter how bad it may seem. And if that’s the key to survival when life gets tough, I try and keep it in mind when it’s not so hard.
“If all you cared about was success climbing would be the worst sport you could do,” said my friend Jeff yesterday as we greased off our projects. True enough, it was hard to lament “failure” on a gorgeous afternoon in a mountains hanging out on a ledge with a billion-dollar view in the warm November sun. Climbing is a sadistic sport for the ego. Dale Goddard once said, “Sometimes you go a whole season, or whole year, without climbing anything (meaning goals).” But that’s also the beauty of climbing; on its worst days you’re getting exercise out in nature. Who cares about ego when you’ve got stoke?!
October didn’t turn out as planned. I trained essentially the entire year for this peak period of climbing and then life happened and I hardly got outside. We had a family tragedy and work decided—for the first time in a decade (fitness is a New Year’s game)—to get super busy in the fall. We’re still dealing with the old man at the end of his days and, in order to help him get through his loss, we rescued a couple of maniacs. So while life may be a series of strikes and gutters, all I can say is The Dude Abides.
As a man much wiser than myself once put it, “I guess that’s the way the whole darn human comedy keeps perpetuatin’ itself. Down through the generations. Westward with the wagons. Across the sands of time until we…. Ah, look at me. I’m ramblin’ again. Well, I hope you folks enjoyed yourselves. Catch ya later on down the trail.”
pics: trotter: work may not pay much but you can’t beat the surroundings. the big man and his new version of stoke. two maniacs to ensure adequate aerobic fitness this winter.