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Saturday, January 14, 2012

When You Can't Go Back

Alex Honnold is a free climber. There's another word for that.


He climbs thousands of feet, straight up a cliff, with no rope, no helmet. Nothing. Proof that he's never made a mistake, he's still alive.

During one climb, a veteran climber analyzes his ascent. About a thousand feet up, he notes that Alex's next step -- a tricky one that bridges a gap -- is a one-way street. He can't cross it the other direction. At that point, there's only one way out.


There are moments we can't undo. Moments that change the course of our life, forever. Sometimes we choose those moments. We say something  or do something and because of us, relationships change. Our mind may alter; our emotions, too. We may even change those around us. Sometimes the moments we choose change for the good. Sometimes, the bad.

And sometimes, those moments choose us.

Life inserts itself into our little private life of wants and desires, of fears and dislikes. We cross a gap that can never be crossed again. The only way is up.

By all accounts, Alex Honnold seems crazy. But he doesn't just find a mountain and climb it. He studies it. He prepares for it. He gets ready for it. And when he's fully present, he ascends to the top.

The gaps are always coming. We have to be ready.

Or we just might fall.

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