Monday, June 24, 2013

Kentucky Sendoff Tour 2013

Several weeks ago, our friend Mark extended an invitation to both Brian and me; he and some of our other gym friends would be traveling to Kentucky for a week of climbing and thought it would be fun for us to come along. The climbing team at the gym would also be in Kentucky for its team trip, an event that Brian and I used be responsible for organizing when we were coaches. Brian would not be able to join in the fun, but being that it is summer, I have some time on my hands, and I was able to join Mark, Patty, John, Heather, Howard and Kathryn.

The trip started out on Saturday afternoon with a short jaunt to Indianapolis, where the kids were climbing. We grabbed dinner, chatted a bunch and drove the four hours to our hotel.  On Sunday morning we watched the kids climb in finals, and in the late afternoon we were back in the car and heading to Kentucky. We arrived to pretty significant storms, but luckily they cleared quickly, and we were able to take a look at Mark and Patty's cabin and enjoy some pizza that we picked up at Miguel's.   We went to the cabin we were staying at for the next several nights and all settled in. 

The first day out, we met the kids to climb with them and offer assistance if need be. It was a long, sweaty hike and a relatively short day of climbing,  but it was a lot of fun.

The next day was a rainy one, so we hunkered down in the cabin for the majority of the day until afternoon sun made an appearance and we were able to take a short hike to the top of the Natural Bridge. Wednesday through Friday continued the climbing adventures, and while most people left on Saturday, Mark, Patty and I stayed, and Andrew also joined us.

On Saturday,  Patty, Andrew and I made the most of our last day by getting in some good climbing. By the time we left the crag and headed to Miguel's for pizza, my fingers were raw and I was ready for bed - it was a good sign. I worked hard that day, almost sent a tough route and made it to the top of the hardest route I've been on to date.

I think everyone can relate to the feeling one gets when working hard and accomplishing something, especially something unexpected. What I have come to learn regarding climbing is that the sense of pride one gets, even when 'failing' (not climbing the route to the top without falling) is incomparable.  Pushing one's perceived limits and realizing one's full physical and psychological strength is entirely empowering.  This week, and particularly the last day, allowed me to see how strong I am and how hard I am willing to work to get stronger. And now, more than ever, that sense of fortitude is needed.  I'm going to use it to keep me moving forward....

In all likelihood, I won't be back to Kentucky for a good long this was my sendoff tour, and it was a great time. Thanks, RRG, for a wonderful adventure. 

out little cabin in the woods
life in the wilderness

me and Patty 

climb on

(Thanks, Kathryn, for the great photos!)

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