Dear Climbing,

We’ve been seeing each other for over six years and this letter is long overdue. But every day, my heart beats wildly for you. You have brought me to some beautiful places. Because of you, I have experienced some breathtaking views and met some amazing people.

But most of all, I love how you bring out the best and worst parts of me. You take everything I have mentally, physically, and emotionally and yet you offer a safe place for healing. You’ve been there for both hard sends and hard falls (both the kind the break your foot and your heart) and ultimately, I am a healthier, happier, and more driven human because of you.

Nature becomes a great equalizer and through climbing, we’re able to channel emotions through something physical. I love the way the mind and body connect as well as the connections we build with other humans. Finding ways to unplug our lives and instead of looking for the release, letting it find you. Embracing it fully and then resurfacing. Seeing what kind of person we can become when we resurface.

I have climbed to the top of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park. I’ve been scared of rattly gear climbing up dirty, crusty 5.9 cracks. I’ve returned to earth by headlamp after rappelling fifteen pitches of pure granite. I’ve eaten cold ravioli out of cans because I was too tired to cook a real dinner. I’ve slept under stars that set the sky on fire on the clearest of nights. I’ve listened to the sound of coyotes howling yip yap songs across the valley and then fallen asleep to the sound a crackling fire in an untamed desert. And then I’ve also fallen asleep to the sound of pure silence entombed in my sleeping bag, my dog sweetly curled up next to my legs and tucked in at the bottom. Because of these experiences, I have become the person that I am today.

They say that experience builds character. I say it builds whole chapters of your life.

So far, we have had a few great chapters together these last few years and I look forward to the adventures to come. Yes, there will be times when things don’t go as planned and life is strange and feels scary, sad and disconcerting. We all have those moments. We all break down but there is always strength to be drawn from your mountains. Thank you for sharing your strength with me—every day, I am becoming a better person because of it.

All of my love,

Kathy

71 thoughts

  1. Hi Kathy,
    I can see that you have really good relationship going on with climbing. You two have been through alot together. I too have a relationship but with running. Running helps me clear my head, push me to go farther, and to get through the thing that are going on around me. At the end of the day, I am proud of how fast or far I ran that day. Of course there we are going to have out good and bad days but, you move on. The love letter that you wrote is very poetic and sweet. Can’t wait to read where you climb next.

  2. Hello, this letter is very deeply and i understand you exactly by your experience, your feelings because i have the same. It’s not climbing but hiking. It can change your life specially…..

  3. This letter is very beautiful, i have always wanted to go climbing and because of you i done it! I am really thankful for the experience that you made me to feel!

  4. Wonderful letter, Kathy. Although a trail/mountain runner and not a climber, I know this feeling quite well. Separating yourself from your surroundings and simply exploring the vastness of nature is an experience unlike any other, allowing you to face every range of your character and emotions. No matter the ratio of ups and downs, it provides you with an awareness for yourself, others, and your surroundings that follow you throughout life.
    Best of luck with the climbing. May the adventures keep coming!

  5. this speaks well for me 😦 I’ve been missing the mountains for almost five months now. I have just started last year but fell deeply in love with it in a short span of time. I had to stop due to my parents’ request 😦 they find it unsafe as per Philippines status at the present moment. I had a hard time defending how safe it could be on other places and how much it helped me to go through the hardship of living the adult life. But they were very firm – No. 😦 I hope to get back on top soon 😦

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