The Story Thus Far
Almost exactly a year ago, I wrote about the tremendous pride I experienced, when my then 13-year old son, Julian, took first place in the Men’s Intermediate Division at the annual Veni. Vidi. Ascendi. rock climbing competition at Western Washington University.
Julian continued climbing in the year since, facing the typical ups and downs, and since this is not a hardcore climbing blog and you, my readers, are not, for the most part, I assume, hardcore climbing enthusiasts, it really hasn’t made sense to chronicle here much of what has transpired. For rock climbing is essentially a practice of such small incremental progress, measured in cryptic rating systems that are completely meaningless to the layperson, and at the same time it’s more about achieving one’s personal best rather than beating the competition.
BUT…then there are the occasional HUGE accomplishments, like when Julian qualified at the Regional Championships on December 10th to move on to Divisional Championships, and when this past weekend, at Divisionals he qualified to move on to the National Championships in Colorado Springs, CO the first weekend in March!
The Injury: Right after Regionals, Julian hurt the middle finger on both hands from overuse, he was told he needed to rest for 4 weeks, meaning no climbing at all, we’d just completed construction of a new, killer climbing wall in our garage and he’d qualified for Divisionals.
It was torture! Julian had to develop some serious discipline, with daily ice baths for his hands, and resisting the temptation to climb, with all his climbing buddies itching to get on the new wall.
I think the thing I’m most proud of is how well he stepped up to these challenges, which really enabled him to heal in time to train hard the week before Divisionals, and then, of course, enabled him to do as well as he did there.
The Money: Usually we think about success in terms of positive gains. There’s the sense of accomplishment we earn, the acknowledgment of the accomplishment from others that we receive, and some times there are even prizes or other awards.
In the case of Nationals, well, Julian’s accomplishment will be costing us a hefty chunk of change, for airfare, car rental, lodging, meals, competition registration, etc.
And yet, I give it all up gladly, that he might have this amazing experience, that he can see where his hard work and determination can take him when he sets his mind, his will, and his passion towards his goals.