Gravity is heavy, and so is the responsibility we have to make sure that we come home, time and time again. Folks are alarmed when they see soloing because they think I could die. And the fact is that I could. But life is an inherently dangerous sport, the only safety any of us have lies within our ability to make competent decisions, but even so… sometimes your number comes up and there’s nothing you can do about it. The fact of the matter is that there’s nothing particularly safe about a human hanging from a rope 50ft off the ground. No matter your style of climbing, if you fuck up badly enough… You will die.
While it’s obviously imperative that I think while practicing my lonesome dance with gravity, that doesn’t make me unique in any way. We all have to think. It’s our best form of life insurance.
Rather than shirk the discomfort of these thoughts mid-route, I instead stayed with them and used them as a focus for meditation while exploring the inner recesses of my mind, and managing my heart rate. I allowed irrational anxieties to float across the sky of my mind like clouds drifting across the sun in an otherwise empty firmament. They did not carry my attention away, but rather they simply “were,” and I allowed them their own space to be, beside my attention rather than competing for it.