From the ground to the wall
For the past 5 years I have been running for my life. Mile after mile. Marathon after marathon. I have pushed myself beyond my perceived limits time and time again. Throughout each year, my love and passion for running has burned forever as a flame. Running and being has been joyful, a reward in and of itself. It has filled me with joy and meaning, eventually giving birth to a newfound passion for climbing.
After qualifying for the Boston and New York City Marathon, I had set my sights on qualifying for the New York City Half. As I began training for this half marathon, I sensed a hunger for something beyond the roads I ran. I didn't know what it was for, but that it was there, lingering like an apparition. A trip down to see my brother Raffy would lead me to the answer.
I hopped in my car and drove down from San Francisco to spend time with my brother Raffy for the weekend. Growing up, I spent a lot of time playing sports with him. He showed me that the fundamentals were what led to greatness in each sport he mentored me in. We shared a curiosity for the deeper "why" of life and often carried off into long drawn conversations that opened my mind further and further. He surprised me taking me to a running shop and gifting me with a pair of shoes that would later be laced upon my feet as I qualified for the New York City Half Marathon, just 28 seconds under the cut off.
We spent a good amount of time eating at local favorite restaurants, eating healthy whole foods and talking about the deeper "why" of life. We found ourselves one day with no set plans and began throwing ideas at a metaphysical dartboard, hoping one would hit the bulls eye. "Hey, let's go climbing, I know a place nearby." My ears raised along with my curiosity. We walked into the climbing gym where I was taken back by granite walls strewn across with routes of vibrant colors. The plan was to sport climb. In order to do so, I had to take a belay class to get certified for the day so we could partner up. As I was taking my class, my brother decided to check out the bouldering section of the gym. When I had returned from the class I found my brother in a pensive pose as he stared at a 16ft wall. "No ropes" I asked. "Nah, this is bouldering," He answered.
With each route I climbed, my curiosity evolved into a liking. By the time we finished I had found my answer to the lingering question. Climbing was the new passion I would extend my energy and heart into. By no means will I stop running. That is in my blood. It only means that my love for movement, for being, is not solely focused on running. I stop to take a look back and see the path that led me to this: It had started with a passion for cycling. A tragic car accident had led me to a passion running. Now running had led me to climbing. I wonder what will happen next...