Wow! It feels like this year is flying by! We’re already in October and I just finished up with one of my favorite year end festivals in California, Feather Fest.
I’ve been going to Feather Fest and running the class 4 and 5 sections since I was 9. The race is held on the beautiful North Fork of the Feather River, and is such a special place for me to go because it’s where I learned to creek boat. I’ve only been doing the creek race for two years because my crazy schedule has made us miss it. Last year I placed 3rd in the creek race and this year I was really excited to actually learn the race lines so I could have an even faster time!
Gnarly is an experience. The experience of letting go. Letting go so you can hold on tighter. The experience of leaving town, so you can find your way home. The experience of giving up, so you find a way to give it everything. The experience of burning out, so you can rise from rubble. And so it is with those who seek us out. They will not find a brand, they will find an experience. A set of meanings that reflect their desires to become more than they were previous.
It’s a Wednesday afternoon, and I pull open the door and smell the gym—the chalk, someone's coffee, the rubbery stink of climbing shoes. The staff members—as always—greet me by name as I drop my climbing bag in the corner, which is already stacked with the bright orange team bags belonging to my friends. Shoes and chalk in my hands, I enter the bouldering area to warm up. This place is like a second home to me. It's where I learned how to lose without losing my confidence; it's where I've won competitions and won the respect of my coaches; it's where I learned to throw myself into something with my whole heart. It's where I've learned to climb like a girl.