Dirtbag Day 21

Austin Haedicke bio photo By Austin Haedicke
"Being a soloist on the rocks fits my personality in day-to-day life.
That's why I started climbing alone in the fist place,
to deal with the confusion in my head and be away from others
while focusing in my little bubble, immersed in the outdoors."

That is a quote from the latest issue of Rock and Ice featuring a memorial cover story on Dean Potter. tangentially I’ve developed a bit of a postmortem man-crush on Dean Potter. I heard the news and posts on social media of Dean’s death, actually I first heard of it from a dear BJJ friend who advised me to "Be careful out there Dalton" (yes, it’s a Road House reference). For whatever reason I had put off watching Valley Updrising — which I absolutely loved — until then and saw it as a worthy time, not knowing how the film ended (in reference to Dean).

Now, I’m not into slack lining, don’t have pans for taking up BASE jumping, and my friends — and mother — who are reading this don’t have to worry about me free soloing any time soon (although I must admit solo highballs have kind of captured me). Of course I never knew Dean Potter, but the more I read, the more I feel connected in a pseudo-spiritual sense of admiration for Dean’s sense of prowess and passion for the world and what he’s doing in it. He’s seems to have very much been the I'm gonna do what I want in order to be as free as I possibly can, and **** you if you get in the way kind of guy; though not out of spite, out of deep desire and commitment to his mission.

A couple days ago I was offered (and accepted) a full time job not too far from where I’ve been camping. This puts me in quite an interesting position. When i began this journey I had crossed the line and dove into the dark side. i mentally prepared myself for something much more treacherous than three weeks (more to the tune of three or six months, or even a year if I needed to). I had to go there,suffering the depths of possibility was the only way to build enough courage to keep going`.

I’ve also committed to this lifestyle and, for now, it is enough. It has brought on a whole new realm of consciousness in terms of what is "needed" and totally re-aligns what you "want" from yourself, your world, your life, and your friends. I literally threw away (not counting what I sold on eBay or gave to GoodWill) at least half of everything I own. Not to mention, dropped a small fortune at REI upgrading my camping gear for this semi-permanent endeavor.

Really though, actually having a full time job many not need to stop this journey. After all, if you picked up anything from my manifesto then you should know that this totally is not about money. Scheduling will have a lot to do with how long I can continue on this path. How long I want to continue is dependent on how long it remains worth it. There are, of course a lot of peculiarities about my predicament regarding psychotherapy and that professional field, but other more profound writers and elite athletes expressed similar prose.