We all have or own projects. They are those things we sometimes suddenly feel like pursuing or maybe those things we slowly feel we have to finish because they have been nagging us everytime we go to sleep.
It doesn't matter how absolutely how hard they are. Relatively, they are called projects because we need to plan on them because they don't come easy. My project is as good as any other project. I will put as much effort on a project as much effort as Chris Sharma will put on his projects. My 5.14 is his 5.15 and maybe your 5.13 or 5.10. The feeling will all be the same. We will all feel the same after the send, no matter the grade. That is the beauty of climbing. We all have our own scales.
Sending a project feels so divine. In climbing, the feeling of finishing a route that has been eluding us lasts an infinite few minutes.
Accomplishing the once impossible bores down to our core and gives the most delightful feeling. It is a feeling hard to explain. We climb on the most indifferent rocks, uncaring if we get injured or not.
Once the send happens, however, it feels as though your love is being thrown back at you ten fold, maybe even more.
It feels as though you have become part of something larger than yourself and it has accepted your efforts, your pain and your emotions.
I remember the first time I ever climbed. I always chose the most difficult for me. It didn't want to climb on something I knew I could finish. I always wanted to be on something I know I would struggle on, something that would take my time and all the neuroticism I can muster.
It sounds ultra masochistic but looking back I think from the get go I always thrived on things that I felt really interested me and put effort into. Like in math class, I wasn't content in using formulas that have been given, I had to understand why that formula "got to be."
Of course that meant more effort but that also meant more understanding. I always take the long way round with shortcuts coming only once in a while, reserved for the emergencies that can't be avoided.
There's one more thing about projects. There is always a start and an end. This simple fact always settles me down everytime my head spins on the initial impossibility of these things. These are milestones. Projects always have milestones. If they don't they aren't projects. On a chart, we lay down starts and finishes. When I set my sight on a route I see a start and a finish. There is a duration and it speaks to me.
I've recently finished a local project at my easily favorite local crag, "Slayer." The route is called "Valhalla," the norse word for heaven. The end to that brings a bitter sweet taste in the mouth. I'm glad I finished it but now my mind is asking me "what next?"
Still, I will go for projects. I'll be on impossible journeys and keep pushing forward. The efforts may sometimes take so much of me and may even cripple some nerves but the rewards will always be worth while. Projects can keep us alive and moving forward.