Sometimes, when I convince myself it’s a good idea, I climb. It’s hard work both during and after. It dries out your hands a lot. It involves no small amount of danger. And I bruise easily. I love it all the same.
For me, before the joy of reaching the top, there’s always this one singularly demoralising moment during a climb when I am overwhelmed with the sounds of mind and body both saying: ‘give up. no more. we can do no more.’
In these moments it’s easy to give into the voices. It’s easy to wave down to the ground and tell your partner to let you down. That’s it. It’s over. I can go no further. Leave me behind. Let’s all have tea and biscuits in my flat and call off the whole affair.
Recently, I’ve tried a different technique. Recently I let myself hypothesise. What if I reached for that hold instead of this? Good, that seems to be fine. Now what if I swapped my feet around? Possible, and in fact more comfortable. Now what if my foot went across over there? Painful but it seems to be working.
Not considering the end result before it is reasonable enough to scramble to the finish is working for me in climbing and when I write.
Sometimes it’s demoralising to think of a task as a whole, instead of a thousand small steps that are easy enough to complete one at a time. It’s not about the destination after all. Life is about the climb.
Books can’t all be about finishing them either. Part of writing has to be about enjoying the journey and taking it one step at a time. Part of the joy has to be about those little steps taken one at a time.
Fist bump me & whatever behemoth journey you’re on remember that it doesn’t matter how slowly you go only that you carry on.