Bonjour mon petit pampelmousse’s
Its been a long time, I shouldn’t have left you, but times up, Im sorry I kept you.
I spent the Christmas and New Year period away from home, first in Devon, and then in Chamonix and a wonderful time was had skiing in with good friends. In time gone by, I used to be petrified by the thought of taking a few weeks off of climbing, but nowadays I realise there is much, much more to life than just hanging off of rocks, and also that you can have too much of a good thing. It’s good every now and again to take a break and do something different. It tests your mind and your body in different ways and I always return feeling refreshed and ready for the next step.
I read a few interesting books recently which have helped to focus and organise some ideas I have had over the last few years, and in cases, throughout my whole life. I have been trying to, and hope to continue to implement these ideas into my day to day living and by doing so live a fuller, happier, more content life, and enhance the lives of the people around me.
About a month ago, I gave a lecture in Belgium at their national bouldering championships and had a great couple of days hanging out with friends old and new. One afternoon, over lunch, one of my oldest friends said something to me that really struck a cord. He told me that he had recently stopped looking at and posting on internet climbing forums because he gained nothing positive from them. He said the things that other people are doing (or more precisely saying) mattered little to him, as he was mainly interested in bettering himself and his personal journey.
I was quite surprised at first, especially considering how much of his time is spent in front of his computer ;) but had a lot of respect for his decision. I thought about this a little more over the next few days and it made so much sense. When I weighed up the pros (contact with friends, updates on news) against the cons (lies, bitchiness, nastiness, stirring, uneducated opinions stated as fact etc etc) I began to see clearer. When I then worked out the amount of time I was spending on forums (keeping track of threads, replying to questions, justifying decisions etc) I realised the utter insanity of the situation.
I was wasting my life, doing something that caused me more pain than not – so I stopped! As simple as that, I went cold turkey, I haven’t looked on the internet forums since, and it’s great. My time is now spent doing the things I enjoy, and I feel so much better for it. I imagine there are still things being wrote about me and I guess people may even be annoyed about my apparent absence, possibly feeling like I have buried my head in the sand, especially in light of the recent repeat of my route in Devon, but I hope after reading the above you now realise this is not the case.
Incidentally, I have my views on this repeat, but here is not the place to discuss them. If you want to read my thoughts and feelings on The Walk Of Life, I wrote a series of blog posts on the subject shortly after I made the first ascent in September, just take a look back through the archive, my views are still the same.
I like to think that I learn from my past experiences, and also that I have no regrets. Things happen, you do what you think is right, and you move on, you keep living.