Life changes... and finally, a little time on the rock
Major life changes are happening right now and most of them are pretty exciting, except for my climbing ability (but more on that in a minute). Last week I finally made the decision to attend graduate school. I had been dragging the decision out for some time, party because Melissa wasn't sure if she wanted to go and thus pay out of state tuition. (We both got accepted into the Speech Pathology program at Appstate.) We finally decided last weekend to go for it and do school. Aside from the tuition issue, I just got promoted to Editor at my job from Assistant Editor, and that made it a hard choice, too. I'd been working hard for years to get this promotion, but now I'm walking away after having the promotion for a month to give Speech Patho a try.
I've tried for a long time to find a career that could provide a good fit for climbing, and this seems like a good choice. Decent pay, you can work pretty much anywhere, you can have summers off if you work in the schools, you can do travel therapy. And you also get to help people. So I'm thinking it's worth going for it. Plus, I get the bonus of going back to Boone for a couple more years. The irony is, of course, now that I'm finally getting to go back, I can't climb worth a damn. Oh yeah, that made the decision harder too! Why pursue a career that has more freedom for climbing if I can't climb so well anymore? Hope springs eternal, I guess. Nothing inspires me like climbing, so I just gotta keep hoping I get over this injury stuff. Regardless, life is changing fast. I'll be leaving my job, fixing up and selling my house, and moving to Boone in the next 2 months. As well as completing 2 intense online courses. Whew.
Speaking of injury, it was just about a year ago that I jacked up my shoulder and neck and have been climbing like crap, with differing amounts of pain, ever since. But I have a new plan! For the rest of the summer I'm not climbing anything harder than V2/V3 or 5.10. I feel like I've been both babying my injury then overdoing it over and over again for the last year. So I'm going to try this approach and see if it makes a difference. Build the strength back up slowly, that's the goal.
It worked pretty well this weekend, when I got a chance to quickly run out to the North side boulders at Looking Glass early Sunday morning. I climbed a bunch of easy stuff and had a total blast. There are some really fun problems there, and the place gets so little traffic that it feels really isolated and natural. There are still plants and leaves at the base of the climbs--how often do you see that? Aside from the mank and the bugs (of which there are many) this place is at least a cool summer destination that can be a fun diversion.
Now that the cats out of the bag to work about me going to school, I'll keep updating as things move along. It's a lot of changes, but exciting ones, too. I can't wait to have boulders within a 10-15 minute drive from my house again. Now I just hope I can climb 'em....
Posted by Matt P.