Suburban Dirtbag: Week 4

Austin Haedicke bio photo By Austin Haedicke Comment
Week 5 Week 4 Week 3 Week 2 Week 1

Day 30

GoFundMe and Page Views:

In the last 30 days, the climbing section of this blog has gotten more views than any other page. The Suburban Dirtbag posts account for nearly 30% of my pageviews. Apparently people are interested in reading about my (sometimes mis)adventures!

When you’re homeless a few extra dollars can go along way. So, I’ve set up a Go Fund Me campaign. The figure of $600 comes from a rough correlation to one month’s rent.
The premise for me was this: what is the content here and on my Instagram worth to you? I’m not being greedy, I’m thrilled just to get pageviews, shares, and reshares. So maybe that’s what the content I produce is worth to you. Maybe it’s worth a cup of coffee, or a beer, or a gallon of gas (that will surely fuel the next adventure).

Where else does my money go? As described on my Go Fund Me page, most of the funds raised will be used directly by me (food, fuel, etc…). Some (10%) will be used to contribute to organizations I believe in. In this case, The Access Fund and The Southeastern Climbers Coalition. You could donate to these organizations directly, but by doing so through me you’re also endorsing the way I take up involvement in them. You can read more about that here.

Cold, Frost, and Condensation:

We’re well into the only couple months that we really have to worry about the “cold” here in the south. Fortunately, my day job runs me in and out of buidlings, offices, schools, and (heated) homes. So the days aren’t much trouble. The nights, however, are something different.

Here in the south we have a uniquely humid cold that downright damp and misserable (e.g. count on lots of rain at about 25 - 45 degrees). Earlier this week I awoke to ice inside my trunk where I was sleeping! Big mistake, I forgot to leave a window cracked to let the moisture from my breath escape. I’d known about this principle with tent ventilation, but it had slipped my mind in the car. Lesson learned.

Another good lesson, and ode to Wal-Mart, is sleeping bags. While I love my ultralight Marmot sleeping bag (good for 45’), night temperatures are well below that now, even with an added liner (+5-8’). I didn’t need another backpacking sleeping bag, I needed something to leave in my car. For that, $15 got me another 50’ bag from Wal-Mart. Layering the two together should be good down into single digit temperatures especially depending on what layers you’re wearing to bed.

Projecting:

Last week I talked about the great bouldering season I’ve been having. This morning I found myself very frustrated on a (for me) very hard climb. I gave in to all kinds of negative self-talk and much colorful swearing. After 10 really-try-hard attempts within a couple hours I decided it wasn’t going to happen today.

I had to remind my self that success isn’t dependent on sending. You don’t (and won’t) make it to the top every time; at least not if you’re truly challenging yourself (especially in the areas you have deficits). “Projecting” requires an investment of time, phsycial and emotional effort. If it came easy or quick, it wasn’t a project. The term gets overused a lot to describe a problem or route someone has tried (maybe) a handful of times and would like to add to their ticklist.

When I think of the “projects” that I really had to project over the years, I literally cannot tell you how many attempts each one took before I finally completed the climb. The best guess is that it was “so many that I literally stopped counting”; likely more than 50.

Success can come in small doses and that was the case for me today. I had a fast start to the early season and felt a bit down as my progression stabilized. However, I recalled a similar process to today on another recent test-piece boulder problem. I got all excited having chunked a “next level” problem down to a couple sections thinking “It’ll for sure go in the next session or two.” Well, three or four sessions later I find myself getting a little better and refined every attempt, but still not standing atop the boulder.

All I can do is get a little better every day. Someday the problem will go down. Someday it may even go easy. Then, it’s on to the next one that is the new “not easy.” It’s just another climb that has something to teach me. So I guess I’ll keep cherishing the process of failing. Climb on!

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