Since starting grad school and immersing myself deeper into the obsessive part of my being that loves visual art, I've been struggling to find equilibrium. As much as I must chase my deep desire to pursue this path, I also have to respect my need to have meaningful personal relationships, a spiritual practice, and among many other important things- to climb. Somedays it's hard to motivate to go train at the gym after drawing for six hours straight, but both art and climbing are integral to who I am, so I slog to the gym and train til my arms burn. Then, in the morning, I draw until my hands ache. Then climb until my arms burn. Repeat.
By the end of last semester, this combo of brutal treatment to my arms, wrists, and hands resulted in some pretty debilitating nerve pain in my right hand. I took a few weeks off of climbing so that I could make it through finals. Once the semester was over, I decided to take a month off of drawing to let my hand recover further, but I needed to climb. I packed up my little Subaru and drove to meet Jonathan Siegrist in Las Vegas for a month of desert climbing.
|On the top of Turtlehead Mountain after seeing a herd of Bighorn Sheep|
|entering the canyon|
|petroglyph on the canyon walls... wish I knew what it meant.|
|the warm up- Tangled Up In Blue, 12a|
|A little moon lit yoga by our campsite|
"It was exactly what I was looking for; a route that would demand a new level of dedication, psychical and mental strength from me. It was of course frustrating, ego-crushing and difficult throughout but in the end it was a dream come true. I named the route 'Le Rêve', meaning 'the dream' in French."
|Jonathan jugging up the route on the first day of effort to begin cleaning it. I took a nap.|
Witnessing him try so hard inspires me to not only do the same with my climbing, but also to take that attitude and effort into other arenas of my life. I'm hoping if I constantly muster up the effort to try that hard with my artistic pursuits, then I will also push my personal limits and do great things.
In an email a few days after he sent, he made a similar correlation, writing: