"What do you want to be when you "grow up"?", the answer to which every kid dreams about and you will get an answer along the lines of astronaut, nurse, ballerina (or Gladiator is Mina's case) or actually in this day and age you are more likely to get an answer of footballer or celebrity. What is the follow up to that question though? How does life set them up? What kid, or person knows at 14, what they want to do, at an age when they are asked to make choices which go along way into shaping the rest of their lives? Who are we to do that?
Has anyone ever told these kids not to worry and to do what makes them happy and that if they do not know what they want to do...then that's OK?
Check out this impressive kid talking about Hackschooling:
I remember wanting to be a child's heart surgeon, wanting to save lives, then I realised I couldn't cope with the loss which it would ultimately bring. Then I wanted to join the Navy. When I was told they did not allow females onto submarines at that time, so me being me, protested and refused to join. Then I wanted to be an oceanographer and explore the sea's, mapping out the worlds oceans which have always held a special place in my heart.
Life is about opportunities and there is a well known theory about the 10,000 hours / 10 year time scale to become efficient / excellent at something. So by the time you have figured out what you really love, and I mean want to spend the rest of your life doing, it's going to take about 10 years to become pretty good at it What if you never get the opportunity to find something that really fires up your soul?
The Winter Olympics recently ended and I was interested to hear that 3 years ago a women's scouting initiative took place and picked out folk to train in certain sports ready for the Olympics. One girl was picked whilst training in athletics and was put into a winter sport and within 3 years she was holding the Olympic gold medal. I'm certainly not taking anything away from that achievement, but did this person love the sport before she got into it? Was it just that she had never had the opportunity to try it? She may love the sport now, but is that only because she is now the best in the world? What if she had never had that opportunity?
In the climbing world, the kids are machines. Doing things which a "normal" climber would consider a life long goal / dream. Kid's are brought into the sport, given all of the coaching and training plan's and are coming out brutally strong. Would these kids lives have ever brought them into climbing later down the line? Should kids go and experience life and other sports, go through life's ups and down's before being so committed to something? Is there too much pressure to perform, which leads to extreme reactions to what is deemed as "failure"? I have seen so many tears and tantrums at the wall and crag and not only by youngsters. Shouldn't the kids have that life experience to be able to handle the hard world that is climbing? Michaela Tracy has some interesting words on competition climbing and how she now feels about it having grown up through them:
If I had a crystal ball, I could say that I would have changed a lot of things to put me in the position to just climb and travel, but, if all of the stuff before I found climbing did not happen, I may never have found climbing. Even all of the bad stuff, eventually led me to here. I am a stronger person for all that "stuff" and maybe a better climber than if I had started when I was a youth?
I did not plan to work where I do. I never thought about being in IT and some days I love my job and other days I'm ready to throw in the towel and be done with it all and as I sit here in my home office with blue skies outside of the window to the world, I almost panic. A sudden urge to just go, anywhere, everywhere.
Check out this: http://www.mobiledia.com/news/187964.html
I have had that feeling of panic twice in my life. The first was during my first day back at work after the trip. I sat in a huge office, alone, except for someone else on the other end of the phone welcoming me back and asking if I had decided what I wanted to do with the rest of my life? There it was...panic and it took a lot of effort not to bolt. In fact in all honesty...I got to the door. The truth is, I have never known what I wanted to do and I still don't. All I know is I love climbing and traveling.
As I sit here, staring at the Calf, I am like an excited child, my heart pounding and it's only a few hours until I can set off for the wall and start training. The love re-kindled, exciting days ahead. I am so lucky to have found something which lights my soul and that just thinking about it get's my heart thumping.
Sometimes life doesn't work out how you had planned. Is it worth sitting and looking back all the time? Or just be in the now?
The "now" for me is Ilkley, which appears to be the wettest place in England! So far, 2014 has been the worst start to a year I have had in a long time. I've had the shoulder injury rear its ugly head and 2 bouts of flu, all in about 8 weeks! I have no idea how that happened and it totally knocked me. I knew I was at a cross roads at the start of Feb. I either started training again, which I hadn't done since Swissie or I loose the gains I made. The decision was taken out of my hands and I have spent most of the last two months dwindling away. My confidence was low, moving to Ilkley and not being able to train or climb sucked and I began to loose the love.
I did manage a cold and windy outing to Almscliff and almost did the sit start to the Matterhorn. I know, I know, almost isn't doing it. However, it was unexpected to even get as close as I did (we are talking mm's) so it is looking promising. I have only just started training again this week, so my body feels broken - especially as we have this little house of pain in the garage:
And would you believe - a week into training and the weather clears up! We managed to head out to the Peak District. I was sooooooooooooo excited I was rushing out of the door! My climbing partner has been trying Full Power, and he is so close. So 4 hours of Saturday was spent hearing "just one more go" :) I did manage to get a few hours out at Burbage South Edge, one of my favorite places. I decided to try a high ball in the atmospheric quarry. WOW - what a mistake - my confidence really is low and I'm not ready for a high ball with a poor landing. How the mind plays games! So I opted for the shorter and more powerful / less scary 7a+ Violence. I was pretty happy with that given how things have been going.
All in all it was a good day and if all the blogging was a bit serious for you, here is a link to a very non serious climbing film:
At the end of the day, the result does not matter, you are where you are so enjoy.
Happy Climbing x