If you love a climber, you might relate to this…

Red rock canyon climbing

Climbing in Red Rock Canyon, Nevada

Sometimes I wish I had a way to articulate how much climbing motivates me to be healthier, stronger, more focused, committed, and efficient to those that don’t climb or simply don’t understand my addiction to the sport. I ran (ha ha) across this post and couldn’t resist modifying it to reflect the life of a climber. I’ve left her original post intact, striking out running and subbing in climbing. All things italicized and bold are my contribution. check out her original post on her site.

These thoughts originated and was posted by ultramarathonoflife in a blog post titled:

Things to Keep in Mind When Dating/Married to/Friend of/Parent to an Ultra & Trail Runner Climber.

  1. When we say we “need” to go running climbing, we mean it. Whether it’s for sanity’s or training’s sake, we literally need to go run climb. After we get that run climb in, we’ll stop talking about it . . . until the next day. In that same vein, we may sometimes complain about HAVING to go run climb. Yes, we know we could technically “not go” . . . wait, actually no, we have to go. If we don’t, it’ll pick at us all day, everything will remind us of the fact we didn’t go, and we’ll be cranky and miserable because of it.
  2. However long we say we’ll be gone on a run climb, it’s safe to add AT LEAST an hour or two, possibly another day or week or month depending on where we’ve gone to climb. Sometimes, we fail to take into consideration travel time, bonk time, refueling time, weather window time or “we felt good so we just kept going (climbing)” time. Let’s not forget the primary cause for delay, the “I’m so close to sending my project, I just need another try/another attempt when I’m fresh” time.
  3. Grocery bills will increase along with our training. And yes, we are eating AGAIN.
  4. Friday nights are usually more tame than any other night of the week BECAUSE Saturday morning alarms for long runs climbs are usually much earlier than week day alarms for work. Unless you are like me and climb or train first thing in the morning during the week, in which case the alarm is an undulating presence and most nights become tame.
  5. Vacation time is still running climbing time.
  6. We may accidentally leave wet and/or smelly shoes, dirty clothes, or sweaty hydration packs in our car from time to time which means it may smell like a dead body in there. We’ll also come home smelling like ass, covered in sweat, mud, and God knows what else. We promise we’ll take a shower and get back to our normal, sexy selves as soon as we peel ourselves up off the floor. Who are we kidding, there is no accident with leaving things in cars. As climbers we live out of our cars, go days without showering or grooming. The one thing we hope is that you recognize us when we return to civilization.
  7. We think about running climbing . . . a lot. We follow obscure races climbing destinations and geek out over runners climbs and climbers you’ve never heard of before. This only intensifies when we get around our ultra/trail running climbing friends. Eventually, we will talk about other things; be patient with us. No, not really. Climbers will never tire of the subject.
  8. Ultrasignup Weather.com, 8a.nu, Rock & Ice, Climbing Magazine, Gripped, Deadpoint Magazine, etc. can be a more dangerous websites than Ashley Madison. If you see us on there, rein us in. We could easily sign up for 10 races in 10 different states at any given time if left to our own devices. We are always on the lookout for our next adventure; plotting, dreaming, and scheming how to make it happen. A solid weather window and staring at incredible photos and watching endless videos of climbing only makes us feel like we need to be out there climbing now.
  9. We, at some point, will likely (literally) fall victim to our sport. We may twist an ankle, bruise/skin knees, pass out, need IVs, or piss blood. Yes, we know we brought this on ourselves. Still, listen to us talk about it again and again, tell us what bad asses we are, and try to spare us a lecture (until at least maybe the wounds and urethras are healed). We also realize you’re only concerned about us and appreciate and love you for it. The list for climbing can certainly exceed those for running, including taking potentially life-threatening risks in the mountains, but the sentiment is the same.
  10. We love our sport, and we love you. We also understand that you, more than likely, are not obsessed with what we do (or at least to the degree we are). And that’s ok. However, nothing makes us happier than when you show an interest (even if feigned) or want to crew belay/support/spectate belay/talk running climbing. That being said, it’s not always expected. We know we’re weirdos climbing addicts and are thankful you love us in spite of it.

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About Audrey Sniezek

Audrey Sniezek is a rock climber, climbing coach, computer software/technology enthusiast and occasional baker/cook and wine connoisseur.
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