The voice of silence 

      The stillness was different. The quite that surrounded me was unfamiliar.

     10feet up and I could hear loose rock hitting the ground to the left of me.

     September 18th, 6:30am I had gathered my gear together for an outdoor climb.  I had started my trek up, that has proven to be a threat all on it’s own. Loose rock overlays the trail, and the knowledge of cobra’s makes the journey upward just as dangerous as the climb.

     I’ve explored several areas throughout Connecticut in search of undiscovered rock and boulders. Most boulders are found venturing off the trail. 

     I have found each place that’s explored holds it’s own unique stillness, peace, and solitude. 

     The mornings trek and climb had held an unknown calm. Maybe I should have taken that as a warning but I had continued upward.  I sat there for a moment and studied the route. I began with a traverse to warm up.

     The climb that morning was 75 feet. I calculated every move over and over in my mind. My hands and feet parroting every move before I ever touched the rock.  No more than 15 feet up and I could hear rock falling on both sides of me, mainly to the left.  In a rush I reached over to the right to escape the falling rock and avoid getting hit.   I grabbed onto an unfamiliar hold with my right hand. I began to move my left hand, and the rock snaps off. I could feel my back hit the ground.  I wanted to lie there but I knew my chances of being hit by loose rock was of greater risk than the pain I had felt.  Between the pain and the overload of fear releasing itself  through my body, all I was able to do was crawl 10 to 15 feet to a safer area. I sat there leaned up against a tree and noticed blood coming from my left and right hand, and my right hip. Sharp and precise cuts to both hands, along with a sharp cut to my hip, and minor cuts to my back. 

     It’s been a year since this battle to recreate my life began and there’s one question I get asked frequently. “Do you have fear, aren’t you afraid of falling?!” The truth is I battle fear all the time, and have moments of panic. Throughout this I’ve had to learn to change my relationship with fear. Fear can come in like an enemy but appropriated rightly fear will keep you safe, fear has it’s own way of protecting you and fear will lead you safely to higher sends on the rock. My relationship to fear is always evolving. I’d rather die doing something I love than fade away  with regrets, wishing I had and wondering why I never did. I’m not reckless in my attempts and I don’t go beyond my capabilities. I’m ever growing to higher sends and I understand the risks. 

     There’s a voice to silence, unspoken words that speak in stillness.  The voice to silence speaks to you inwardly, your soul hears it, sense it and will gentle let you know there’s something in this moment and will gently lead you away from unseen dangers. 

 

Upon the rock 

  Climbing is the only thing that releases me from myself.  It pushes me beyond the limitations of my mind.. -Beth   

       The voice is your own, carefully blends itself into the balance of emotions. “If I try to hard, I’ll miss it. If I lack in my effort, I’ll miss it.” There’s a balance to it all. A longing in the soul to release it’s expression, that flows from the depth of passion and finds it’s freedom upon the rock. 

The disconnect from life’s mundanes and the chase of life’s vanities.

The rock offers you a continual emptying of self doubt and pushing the mind beyond it’s own limitations.

The body placed upon the rock working every route. The body and mind  pushes past doubts, pain, wandering thoughts, countless hours, and the longing to send. The body and mind engages with the rock until, like the words of a poet, every move is perfectly crafted into what may appear to be an effortless send upon the rock. 

It’s not about being seen but rather to see. 

Surrounded by the silence of nature and it’s still voice that offers clarity to an overworked mind and a dull soul. It’s in the this silence of nature that freedom from life’s paved road and it’s continual voice is found.

It’s the way the rock humbles you, takes you beyond yourself and brings you back again. 

 

A personal glimpse

       The first draft is just you telling yourself the story.-Terry Prachett.

      The final draft is my story being told to others, felt and heard through language carefully chosen.-Beth 

      This journey began almost a year and half ago. I had no idea where any of this would lead. This unfolded before me and for those that have been following me on Instagram and Facebook. 

      I was recently asked to right a feature story for mountain moxie. Humbled by their interest I began to write my story. I’m thankful to say it was just published a few hours ago. It’s finally available to read at, mountainmoxie.com and it’s called, starting over. Feeling grateful and relived..for those that decide to read it, I hope you enjoy it and it offers you encouragement and inspiration. I’m currently working on another story for Alpen climb.. 

 

A story behind the climb 

     Character cannot be developed in ease and quite. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.. -Helen Keller 

      It all seems so flawless, every move unwavering and without hesitation.

      There’s a story behind every climber and what appears to be an effortless send. Nothin begins completed and the send dosent just happen.

      September 15th, 7:30 am. I gather my gear together and head for the Catholes. Although it feels longer I’ve been working this route for 2 and 1/2 weeks. The beginning of this route has proven to be challenging, the size of the holds slightly beyond the strength of my fingers. 

I set myself for the first move to the route. With my left hand I reach for the second hold, push off with my right foot to have the rock crumble beneath my foot causing my right hand to slip, I’m left hanging by my left hand. I struggle to reposition my right hand as my foot sets itself on a more stable area of rock.

I haven’t completed this route but it will be worked continuously until it’s sent(completed). 

      In the beginning I would spend hours watching climbers complete routes without flaw. Each move like words to a poem carefully chosen and placed. 

      I’ve spent countless hours on the same rock battling fears, fustrations and the fight to control a wandering mind.

      The rock will leave it’s own reminder of why most quit. The success of a route isn’t just handed to any climber. Success is earned through torn skin,  aching fingers, bruises, blood and the battle to push beyond your own limitations. The flawless moves are earned through countless hours, staying when everyone leaves and understanding success forms itself through great struggle..

 

Journey towards redemption 

         Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.  -Rumi
        The journey towards redemption had needed to begin with me, it was not to be found in another. I had become my biggest rival. unrecognizable to my own self, quietly slipping into the vanities of life and the numbness it offered to an already neglected soul. A soul lost to the preplexity of someone else’s life, trying to save what could no longer be redeemed.

How did I get to this place? My life had become something unexpected. How do I get beyond what my life had become? I had to begin to recreate my life exactly where I was and fight through life’s dryness.

Climbing was the only thing that had ever released me, pushed me beyond myself and created comfort zones. It’s in the climb that my soul had always found it’s greatest expression and release. It’s on the rock that this battle to begin again truly begins and it’s lesson life changing..

      This battle isn’t necessarily with the thing that has hurt or wronged you, it’s truly with yourself and who you know longer want to be..