February 15, 2008

Love and Risk


Posted by guest blogger Steph Davis, climber and authorClimbing, for me, has a lot to do with love. And I guess that’s what free soloing is all about, ultimately. Free soloing comes from deep compulson which can’t be ignored, only acted upon. Usually it’s not something I question a lot, or try to name. I don’t question eating or breathing, or running or stretching. I just need to do it, some times more than others.


But when you feel the urge to do something that has more risk than other activities, the questions always arise: why do such a clearly risky thing when you can do other things that seem less risky? The question of death starts to come up. I do think that to spend my life avoiding risk and avoiding death would be silly, because that is like going up on a big wall and thinking you will avoid nightfall.


Climbing provides many different things for me. It’s never simple or static. Sometimes when I am super happy and carefree, climbing is the way I express that exuberance. Other times, when I am hurting or vulnerable, climbing gives me comfort. Right now, I see relationships as the most important part of being human, but relationships do not mean only those with other human beings. Climbing keeps me tied to places, animals, people, ideas and emotions.


This complex relationship, with climbing and with adventure, includes and creates countless other relationships, which are growing and changing as I move through life. Questions about motivation, about risk and reward, serve to remind me that climbing is above all an expression of self at a certain moment in time, an expression which is complex, unique and beautiful.Steph Davis(highinfatuation.com)