Recently I had one of my best days climbing. The climb wasn't hard or high....but it was EPIC for me. Some people climb to achieve things...not me. I climb to enjoy things. I don't need more achievement in my life....I've got plenty -- great friends, great family, great calling, a great neighborhood, great church....there's so much to be grateful for.
I've dreamt since 2005 that one day I'd climb with my kids and that I would watch them enjoy climbing. Of course, I would be OK if they decided they didn't enjoy it...but secretly I hoped that they would.
Since the kids were born, they've spent every year of their lives around rocks, mountains, and trails. And they've been on MANY climbing days and climbing trips. They have also climbed outside since they could walk. But there was something about this climb on this day that made it feel like they wanted to climb for their own enjoyment and push their own boundaries of what they thought could be possible.
For the first time it was their climb.
And it was no joke.
5.6, 100+ feet. Vertical sandstone.
...and to top it off....I wouldn't be at the bottom encouraging them up....I would be at the top...bringing them up to me (in non-climber terms, that's, "OMG....I have to climb up this scary climb without seeing and hearing my dad from the bottom and remove the safety protection he used as I climb up?!")
Elizabeth did amazing.
I was so proud.
She climbed with confidence and ease. I remember thinking, "I can't believe I'm seeing one of my dreams come true!"
I couldn't have been happier at the summit. This was the first time we had been on the top of a climb together.
Somehow...this is a picture that will be engraved in my memory forever.
This is the view at the top: High and beautiful!
Josiah was also able to climb another 5.6 with a small overhang. I was so impressed by his dedication to persist through difficulty and get the job done. Amazing!
For some people, climbing is all about achievement: harder and bigger climbs. For a time, that's what was important for me also. But in my heart, climbing is fundamentally about connecting to people and place -- My climbing partners, Jay & Trevor, instilled this into me and it's never left me.
I am so proud of my kids -- and connecting to them in this way was one of my most memorable climbing days ever.
These are good days!Follow @joeandheidi