When you’re alive and vibrant and healthy enough to choose to go climbing, but your dying mother doesn’t have that choice. What do you call that kind of juxtaposition?

This episode is brought to you by Dirtbag Climbers. Music: “Let’s Start at the Beginning” by Lee Rosevere.

For the love of climbing (7)

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(FEMALE VOICE): I experience pain in climbing every time I choose to go on a climbing trip over spending time with my mom. My mom was diagnosed with a slow progressing type of ALS when I was eleven, but by a miracle of the universe, I still have her in my life. She’s dying. She’s been dying slowly since I was a kid. I feel a serious tug on my heartstrings each time I go into the desert or the mountains, facing unknown immeasurable consequence if something should go wrong.

Why do I choose to stare death or serious injury in the face when she doesn’t have that option? She cannot physically do anything anymore. She has to think about dying every day. I don’t have the answer. I probably never will. I understand that climbing is just something so intrinsic to my nature, it is something I must do. And I’ll never fully understand why.

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