Yeah, you read that right.
A couple of weekends ago, we visited Kamouraska, Quebec, one of the most popular sport climbing crags in Eastern Canada. The first day we arrived, I was feeling good. With my job and some relationship stuff, I hadn’t been feeling myself lately but I’d been trying really hard to have a positive attitude. Day one I tried a fun 12a that I was so close to sending but managed to get to the top anyway. Despite it having 2 (intimidating) roofs, I felt pretty solid taking falls and trying really hard. I fell a few times pulling the roof, and was pretty happy that I wasn’t feeling scared at any point. I tried a few more routes that day too, but the pump came on faster than I wanted to and I could barely hold a jug by the end. I had a good day that day.
The next day was horrible. In comparison to day 1’s sunny, warm weather, day 2’s rainy, windy, cloudy, cold weather was quite draining. I immediately felt in my head and bothered. Working through discomfort is difficult for me, and I do terribly in the cold, no matter what activity it may be.
I had high hopes of sending the 12a from the day before, so without warming up (genius idea) I hopped on first thing. I over-gripped before every bolt. My legs and body were shaking. My breathing was off. I was terrified. Just before reaching the crux I just felt the urge to cry. I just kept thinking, “I can’t do this, I can’t do this, I’m too tired, what if I fall, I can’t do this.” Then, the urge to cry turned to full on crying so I said “take!” and I gave up.
I was mad at myself for giving up. I was mad at my belayer (my bf) for not cheering me on and distracting me from my thoughts. I was mad at myself for crying. I was mad at the weather for being so shitty. I was mad that I had so much work to do and I wasn’t getting any of it done. Basically, everything that was bothering me in that moment of my life that I had tried so hard to ignore came out on that 12a route. Side note: it’s tough crying at the crag – there’s really no place to hide.
So, needless to say, it didn’t go down. I’m ashamed that I cried at all and that I let my emotions get the better of me, but, that’s life. I wanted to write this not because it would be embarrassing for myself (which it definitely is), but because I’ve seen others get emotional climbing as well. In my situation and in my head, I probably felt a lot worse than it actually appeared. I’ve seen people cry and be upset at the crag and all I really felt was compassion, not embarrassment for them. It’s okay to be emotional. It’s okay to feel down on yourself, just don’t dwell on it. I have to keep telling myself that, because I felt bad about it all day.
Right now, I’m feeling pretty low when it comes to sport climbing to the point where I still don’t have a ton of motivation to sport climb. I love being outside and with other people, so I just really have to work on letting things go. Or, opening up to friends so they can help cheer you up when you’re having a hard time doing it yourself (which they did wonderfully!).
I hope someone out there is also a cry baby like me, so I know there’s at least two of us. I love Kamou and I definitely need to go back soon to rid myself of that emotional disaster. To leave on a positive note, I still had a great time! Camping and being outside is always fun. There, that’s positive.
Climb on xx