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Losing passion, need some help


Original Post
Medic741 · · Des Moines, IA (WTF) · Joined Apr 2012 · Points: 265

Hello all, could really use some advice/help, and potentially some highly motivated weekend warrior professionals/climbers to reach out for some weekend climbs.

I used to visit this site regularly when I was living just north of the Gunks, and climbing in the ADK/Gunks *at least* twice a week, surrounded by the climbing community and spending summers between Miguel's and some boulders at the base of chapel pond slabs.  Was climbing .11's in the Red, and just breaking into the 5.10 range (no ticks in that grade because hadn't lead one clean yet).  Climbing was my life/passion, and had taken some amazing trips to Patagonia to do trad at Frey and sport at Piedra Parada.

Fast forward to now, I'm attending medical school in Des Moines IA which has been a *huge* time/energy drain, and joined the Army with a contract that commits me to training over most of the summer.  Really struggling to find my love for this sport/lifestyle again, and just got back from Squamish and was just kinda bummed out to be pulling through this *amazing* granite but not feeling any of that elation that I used to being on the rock.  

Most of my partners from that previous life now have jobs/kids/wives and it's hard to get anyone out for the weekends that I have free... which *sucks* because that's all I've got these days.  Miss having people to push myself on cool objectives with.

Really scared that this critical part of my identity/life is slipping away, and was hoping to get some advice from anyone who has some to give, especially those who have chased intense professional goals and made it work to keep climbing in their lives.  

Thanks in advance, recognize that this is a somewhat open-ended question/concern
-Matt

Janet Lynn · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2018 · Points: 0

I would try joining a climbing meet up and really expand your circle.   Find a coming partner or two you can also be friends with.
Subscribe to the climbing videos, like Mani the monkey to help keep the motivation in the downtime

Tradiban · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2004 · Points: 11,365
This post violated Guideline #1 and has been removed.
David Kerkeslager · · New Paltz, NY · Joined Jan 2017 · Points: 124

Sometimes we change, or our situations change, such that we don't enjoy the things we used to enjoy. It's not a bad thing. You can fight it and try to get joy from the same things you used to enjoy, or you can find something else to enjoy. And you can always come back to climbing after a break.

Pepe Climbs Rocks · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2012 · Points: 0

Find something else you enjoy.  Do that for a while, then when you feel like climbing again, go climbing.

Fishing
Hiking
Biking
Canoeing/kayaking

Tons of ways to go outside without extensive travel and training that climbing requires.  

Bonus:  you're still a climber, so if your schedule and desire suit here and there, go climbing.  

Eric · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2008 · Points: 10

Without any doubt, it is time to develop other facets of yourself and find new challenges and identities.  You appear to be starting this.

There is nothing inherently special about rock climbing.  You once found great meaning in the flow state, the adventure, the physical challenge.  Alas, there is more yet to life.

ViperScale . · · McMurdo Station, AQ · Joined Dec 2013 · Points: 240

There is more to life than climbing.

Suburban Roadside · · Abovetraffic on Hudson · Joined Apr 2014 · Points: 1,464

Take it as;  You have made the bed, now pull up the covers.  
Matt, hi again, You & I have never seen eye to eye,( don't remember? what,it was).
 You have a charmed existence & still you ask these un-answerable sorts of obvious questions, questions that only you can find answers to.
Your answers will not be what others tell you or suggest here.
 You Know This, they will be answers for the questions that those people had & may have found answers to, those answers wont fit you.

 Life has ebs & flows.
 Growth happens all the time. Not every activity needs to pose life* & death decisions. Growing does not always lead to maturing.

That you may need to search for more meaning in life than being a good YoYo, is not a bad thing

Focus on the choices you have made. Stay fit The rocks & mountains will be there for you. Their way, The Wild way is better when your adventures mean more & are better funded
Stay in school, take a break from climbing Expand your mind into another art form,

Saitama inSD · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2018 · Points: 0

Hi Matt,
Some people don't care who they climb with as long as they're climbing. For some people, part of the enjoyment is the great company they're with.  Sounds like you went to Squamish without your old crew?

New(er) climbers tend to have enough stoke for a whole mountain.  They find everything cool and exciting. Climb with a newbie, share your knowledge, and experience some of the fun you once had through their eyes.  The happiness and drive you see in them might kick start something in you.

You might have a new partner, or at least someone to temporarily pass the time with. At the very least you're teaching someone else and making their day.

Eric · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2008 · Points: 10
Suburban Roadside wrote: That you may need to search for more meaning in life than being a good YoYo, is not a bad thing

pretty good line.

Pete Spri · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2009 · Points: 286

Doing residencies put climbing on hold for me for quite some time again too, and I lost the focus I had on it.  

y prediction is that it will come back, but when you have time to enjoy it.  
For now, focus on what you are doing.  Get good at medicine and enjoy learning that.

Climbing is not all there is to life, and that is why it is good not to build everything around it like job, relationship, and where you live.  Things change.
 
Now is the time to position your career.  If you are learning and loving your career now, turn on the gas for that.  Climbing rocks will still be around in a few years.

Tradiban · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2004 · Points: 11,365

I may be a jerk by calling out the whiners but I've been thanked for slapping the shit out of my friends.

Seriously Matt, there's lots of places to climb around you, go there, partner or not. Gumption separates men from boys.

Buck Rio · · MN · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 0

Dude, life gets in the way of a lot of things. The rock will still be there when you finish med school. Being in Iowa sucks enough without having to worry about the life you could be leading.

I was in the Army 7th SFGA(cold war), and I found that I always had time to slip away and do some amazing exploration. Maybe not climbing, but I found some cool waterfalls in Honduras, interesting flora and fauna in Panama, nice girls on Roatan  , some of the best skydiving in the world in Ecuador etc....  Sure, I also saw some horrific shit that I still see in my nightmares, but you have to balance that against the good stuff. Go to the 3rd world for a while to get some perspective on what life COULD be like.

Just stay in good enough shape to grab a rope when the opportunity arises, and partners present themselves, and you'll be golden.

Tomily ma · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2011 · Points: 300

I like to focus on gratitude toward climbing as well as the things that might keep me from climbing (kids, house, family, work). I’m thankful for when I can get out and thankful to have a house with an awesome family. Climbing definitely motivates me to stay fit. Like anything else, you can climb your whole life as long as you have a healthy relationship with it.
Just think, play your cards right and one day you can be one of these doctors humble bragging about working 8 months a year and climbing/traveling the other 4. But if you’re not even stoked to walk through the woods at the base of the chief, that’s gonna take so soul searching to solve that one. 

kevin deweese · · Oakland, Ca · Joined Jan 2007 · Points: 405

Solo a bigwall

the schmuck · · Albuquerque, NM · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 110

Things have a way of eb and flow. I climbed obsessively for about 10 years, and then got into bike racing for another 10 or so. During the time I rode, I'd get out to climb maybe twice a year, mostly to get a break from the bike. I also spent a year during this period over seas where I didn't get out once...at all. Then, in 2010, I did a cycling camp in Mallorca, but spent most of my time climbing. Have been doing about 200 days a year on the rock/plastic since, and I cycle just for recreation. 

Chris Owen · · Big Bear Lake · Joined Jan 2002 · Points: 10,314

You could be burned out - but not from climbing, from all of the other stuff in your life. The good news is you remember having good times when you used to climb in the past.

Tradiban · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2004 · Points: 11,365
Buck Rio wrote: Dude, life gets in the way of a lot of things. The rock will still be there when you finish med school. Being in Iowa sucks enough without having to worry about the life you could be leading.

I was in the Army 7th SFGA(cold war), and I found that I always had time to slip away and do some amazing exploration. Maybe not climbing, but I found some cool waterfalls in Honduras, interesting flora and fauna in Panama, nice girls on Roatan  , some of the best skydiving in the world in Ecuador etc....  Sure, I also saw some horrific shit that I still see in my nightmares, but you have to balance that against the good stuff. Go to the 3rd world for a while to get some perspective on what life COULD be like.

Just stay in good enough shape to grab a rope when the opportunity arises, and partners present themselves, and you'll be golden.

How is skydiving in one place better than another place?

M Sprague · · New England · Joined Nov 2006 · Points: 4,989
Tradiban wrote:

How is skydiving in one place better than another place?

Skydiving over a big cactus field might not be so good.

Aerili · · Los Alamos, NM · Joined Mar 2007 · Points: 1,970
the schmuck wrote: Things have a way of eb and flow. 

This. Suburban Roadside also said this, although both posters spelled "ebb" wrong, haha. Otherwise I agree with the sentiment! 

Trying to force passion and motivation doesn't usually work. Priorities take turns in life, whether you're ready or not. Reflect on what other directions you can more readily feel passion in life at the moment (including your immediate timesuck). Keep your gear. Climbing will probably come back to you at some point when your mind and time endorse it. All this sounds like trope, but looking at it from the other side eventually will reveal its truth. Your profile indicates you are young; it's tough to accept and endorse a temporary shift in life, even when there are no negative connotations with that shift.  

MorganH · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2010 · Points: 170
Medic741 wrote: Hello all, could really use some advice/help, and potentially some highly motivated weekend warrior professionals/climbers to reach out for some weekend climbs.

I used to visit this site regularly when I was living just north of the Gunks, and climbing in the ADK/Gunks *at least* twice a week, surrounded by the climbing community and spending summers between Miguel's and some boulders at the base of chapel pond slabs.  Was climbing .11's in the Red, and just breaking into the 5.10 range (no ticks in that grade because hadn't lead one clean yet).  Climbing was my life/passion, and had taken some amazing trips to Patagonia to do trad at Frey and sport at Piedra Parada.

Fast forward to now, I'm attending medical school in Des Moines IA which has been a *huge* time/energy drain, and joined the Army with a contract that commits me to training over most of the summer.  Really struggling to find my love for this sport/lifestyle again, and just got back from Squamish and was just kinda bummed out to be pulling through this *amazing* granite but not feeling any of that elation that I used to being on the rock.  

Most of my partners from that previous life now have jobs/kids/wives and it's hard to get anyone out for the weekends that I have free... which *sucks* because that's all I've got these days.  Miss having people to push myself on cool objectives with.

Really scared that this critical part of my identity/life is slipping away, and was hoping to get some advice from anyone who has some to give, especially those who have chased intense professional goals and made it work to keep climbing in their lives.  

Thanks in advance, recognize that this is a somewhat open-ended question/concern
-Matt

If you're not having fun, take a break, try something else. You might come back to it in a couple of years, or you might not...

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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