Thursday, September 27, 2007

Ersatz Climbing

Everyone I know who's a climbing addict has times when they're jonesing and can't get a fix. Work, lovelife, family obligations, overuse injuries(let's not jinx it by mentioning the 'other' kind)..... These things get in the way; for the dirtbag livin' it up on the road, and even the sponsored ones. I am no different.

So, when I'm not on the cliffs, I sometimes need a substitute. For some people, the gym fills the need. It did for me, when I first started climbing, but presently my schedule and cash flow allows for no plastic pulling. I haven't been to a gym in six months, and I think it was at least a year's hiatus between that and the time before. And.....well - a gym line is to real rock as a blow-up doll is to a real man. It just doesn't do it(I'd make the girl doll analogy but I have the feeling any guy reading this would...disagree.).

For me, the sub's been through reading. I discovered the climbing forum nearly immediately after my first day climbing, and have been in a co-dependant relationship ever since. It can get ugly, but there are such good times in between...

As any forum junkie discovers - after a while it can become bland and repetitive, similar topics, reincarnated over and over. At least on
some sites....

And then there's the glossies - Climbing, Rock & Ice, Gripped, Climb, Urban Climber.... And, of course, there's Alpinist, though this book defies being lumped with others; it's high quality stuff. When those fail the general outdoors journals like Outside, National Geographic Explorer, Backpacker.... And as things get dry in town, I'll turn to Outdoor Photographer and other rags that have some relation to my adventure hobbies.

I have used all these dru...products, to scratch the itch. Nothing hits like a road trip, but sometimes the road gets less traveled. You know what I mean?

Climbing books? If you think you're better than the ADHD-addled magazine mooch, you're in denali. Ummmm...was that a fruedian slip, or was I just trying to be funny? But what I meant was - it's all the same. Getting straight. Because to the climbing junkie, life seems somehow less lifelike when too much time's elapsed between our last run.

I've run the gamut, and one thing that proves to me I need help(in the form of more climbing, dammit!) is that I recently purchased a laptop computer. My desktop is in rehab(a long term program, I fear, and he may not survive), and I made this decision so I could use it on the road, to blog...D'ya think my blog is just another outlet for my compulsion??? But! The thing is....when I got the laptop, when I realized the newer technology meant it has a dvd player, my first thought was "climbing videos!"

Yeah....I'm a sick one. And perhaps you identify. But if you're reading this far and thinking "I'm not like that. I don't (fill in the blank).", I can tell you it's not the quantity; it's the quality, and what it does to your life. If you just spent the last five minutes of your time here...maybe it's time you took Step One. Yes - admit you are powerless and get out there and get on it! Learn to live with your addiction. It's the easier, softer way.

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