I did not know it before I was a climber, but a fire lived inside of me. I am just tiny bones and fleshy limbs, sun-soaked skin stretched like blank canvas across a brittle frame. I am dusted with the dirt of old country roads I have driven down, of desert sand and smut. Climbing took one small ember and then burst it into flame and I realized that I am more than bones and brawn. I am the sound of coyotes howling yip yap songs across the valley. I am gritty jokes told over raging campfires. I am new light at daybreak, spilling into the canyon, its walls an ocean of red sandstone. I am strength, fierce and unyielding. Climbing did not give me strength but was a reminder that it had been there all along.