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Climbing back from Cancer

June 2017 I slowly awake out of a deep anesthesia-induced slumber. I have a massive tube shoved down my throat emptying my stomach contents. My mom is there. “What happened?” I ask her. I’m still hopeful that when they did the exploratory…
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The Blessings of Jesus and Tequila

A lot of people tout that Jesus and Tequila 12b (aka “J ‘n T”) is the best 5.12 in the New River Gorge (and I wouldn’t disagree.)  Some people even argue that it’s the best route in the Gorge, period. I’ve even heard more than one person say it is the best route they have EVER touched. Well, with that introduction, you know it’s not gonna be a gimme for the grade, right? While grades are of course highly subjective, J ‘n T has a pretty solid consensus that 12b is a big fat sandbag (unless you are my one friend that downgrades…Read the rest of this entry →
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Climbing Mantras From a Toddler

Sometimes as climbers it’s easy to get bogged down with training philosophies, number chasing, or even just overzealous trip planning.  All of those things have their place, but too much focus on any of them can lead to burn-out pretty quickly.  Every now and then it’s good to take a step back and remember the basics of climbing… 1.  Climbing should be fun.  If it’s not, pick a another route.  Or do something else different entirely.2.  Sometimes climbing is easy.  When it’s easy, relax and enjoy it.  3.  Sometimes climbing is hard.  When it’s hard, you have to try hard.…Read the rest of this entry →
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Life Lessons You Can Learn From a Rock Climber

The writer in me loves metaphors and analogies, which is one reason why I love writing about climbing.  Time and time again I’ve been able to apply concepts from the rock climbing world to my life as a mother, wife, and friend.  What a lot of non-climbers don’t realize is that there are actually several different disciplines, or styles, of climbing – some of us may have an end goal to climb Mt. Everest, whereas others of us may aspire to touch every piece of local rock that we can.  Each discipline has a different set of values, ethics, and…Read the rest of this entry →
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A Year Ago Today…A Reflection on Health and Happiness

A year ago today I was not a happy hiker, camper, or any of those other cute little clichés used to describe outdoors enthusiasts.  A year ago today I bashed my foot into the  rock face and had to be carried away from the cliff like a sack of potatoes.  A year ago today I went to sleep in tears from frustration, pain, and self-pity.  But that was a year ago, and this is today.  Today I smiled as I thought about our family adventures from this past weekend.  Today I will laugh with my little boy outside in his sandbox. …Read the rest of this entry →