Starting in January Dan & and I began climbing almost every day at the gym. We sucked at first. A lot. But we loved it and climbed all the time. When we both got new jobs a couple months ago, our climbing dates started thinning out, and then about a month ago we basically stopped going altogether. At the time we stopped we were both feeling pretty great about our progress and were climbing routes we were proud of. Once I started working at my new job I felt way more busy all of a sudden, and even though I was just sitting in front of a computer all day, being at the office still took it out of me and I didn't want to go climbing. Plus I had design clients' projects to work on, and blog posts to compose when I got home. So when I went back to climbing this week after a month of not doing it, I was so out of shape. It was awful. And embarrassing. I was livid. It seems like a silly thing to be livid about, but I was/am. I was really proud of how hard I'd worked to get to where I had been, and now I was struggling to climb routes that beginner-climber-me used to be proud of completing. Now it just felt like complete failure.
I'm an extremely competitive person. I have a problem with pride. I hate letting people see my faults and failures. I beat myself up when I know I can do better. Especially when I know I can to better because I have done better. I'm not very fun to go climbing with at the moment. I climb a few routes and can feel my stupid weak muscles start to wane. I try to tell myself that I just have to start over and that it's not that big of a backslide. That I still know all the techniques I learned, and that it's just a matter of building my strength back. Inevitably the rage starts to well up, though, and I leave the gym angry. As easy as it is to say that I just need to adjust my attitude, it's much harder in practice.
I've started trying to build back my strength and felt better on our last trip to the gym. I'm trying to remember that I'm not really starting over, per se. I'm much stronger now than I was when I started climbing in January, it's just that I'm not as strong as I was a month ago. I'm not starting from scratch.