I’m currently sitting in the lobby of a Holiday Inn Express in Lincoln, NH.
I’ve been here before. In fact, the area I am sitting in has proven to be the spot where I’ve had to really dig deep and stretch myself a number of times.
I remember the first time. It was January of 2018. A good friend had convinced me to try ice climbing. We’d flown in the day before, eaten a good dinner, and I’d gotten a decent night of sleep on the pullout in the room three of us were sharing.
We woke up early, geared up (I had *no idea* what I was doing or how to dress), and headed to the lobby to consume calories we’d need for the activity and the cold, and to meet our guide — the legendary Art Mooney.
As Art got out boots and crampons and explained what to expect on our first day, I did my best to take it all in while not letting the trepidation show on my face.
I had to dig deep. I had to convince myself stepping out of my comfort zone and doing something scary was going to be worth it.
We headed to the vehicles and started the drive to our first climbing spot. We hiked in, found our spot, and I watched Art climb up the wall of ice as if he was floating … thinking to myself “maybe this won’t be so hard”.
It was hard. Really hard.
My first effort was all strength and no technique. As were my next several. I got tired quickly and made little progress up the wall. It was difficult and a little demoralizing.
We had a day off in-between, but were back in the lobby a couple days later. Again I had to dig deep. There were big parts of me and loud voices in my head trying to convince me it was not worth trying again.
I pushed through, geared up, and hopped in the vehicle. We parked, climbed out and started our trek to the day’s ice.
I almost didn’t make the trek up — it was longer than I planned on and I was hot and my heart rate was up!
But I made it, and I gave the ice another go.