(07-09.06.2014, Sohodol; 14.06.2014, Poiana Stânii)

I am a coward. I am one of the weakest people I know. I love climbing, but I’m scared shitless to lead climb. Last summer I had more guts, I lead climbed almost every time we were out, I even climbed a route from quickdraw to quickdraw, but I reached the top. So what the fuck happened to me? After much thought and pondering I’ve reached the conclusion that I am simply afraid for my life. I know, I know, nothing that extreme can happen if we’re careful (and we are), but in my mind the idea of falling has become inseparable from the idea of death. I always picture myself falling and falling until I hit the ground. The quickdraws don’t stop my fall, the belayer is powerless. So I’m forbidden to fall. I cannot let myself fall. Cause falling means dying. And I can’t die. Not now. Not when I’m finally this happy. So I stupidly let the fear conquer me until I’m unable to lead climb. Every time I top rope or I lead climb very easy routes I feel horrible. There’s no pleasure anymore, just fear, mind-blowing fear…

Now you know why our 3-day climbing trip was a failure from my point of view. I was like a hunted and corned animal every time Adi and Dana wanted to climb a route. I was even afraid to let them climb some routes which didn’t look like ladders. I should have been awarded the worst climbing companion medal.

But there were nice moments too. Like when we crossed the river and our pants were so wet that I had to stay for about half an hour in my knickers. Or when we crossed the river back and both Adi and Dana fell in :D Or watching Adi flash a horrible 7- route. Or meeting and talking with really really nice people. Or when we fooled around while I was dangling from the rope on my way down.

There were some bloody high routes and there were some doable ones. I didn’t cry this time, but I didn’t enjoy myself either. I’m not sure I want to return to Sohodol just yet. I’d rather climb somewhere else until I figure out how to overcome my fear and how to just live for now (as the saying goes).

As for Poiana Stânii, I was more relaxed there. Maybe because I knew from the beginning that I didn’t want to lead climb. I encouraged and belayed  Adi when he put the top ropes for me and I just played with those tricky rather bouldering routes. Of course the crux was always after the second quickdraw, why have it a little further from the ground? But I have to admit I was really into those harder routes. The rock was sloppy and scary and it felt like a miracle whenever I could inch myself up the route. I think it also helped that the routes were tiny in comparison with the ones we tried in Sohodol.

I’m still not sure what climbing is to me: either my worst enemy with whom I make a truce from time to time or my best friend which is patiently waiting for me to accept it as it is: sometimes scary, sometimes risky, almost never deadly and, most importantly, always amazing.

*Bon Iver – The Wolves (Act I&II)

Posted on by ionuca | Posted in Climbing up the walls, For a minute there I lost myself, I think I'm paranoid and complicated, Pictures of you, Try walking in my shoes, With a little help from my friends

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