Halloween Day. The day I summited El Capitan with Alex, in 2017. I usually celebrate that day by jugging up the Heart lines (the 6 ropes permanently affixed to El Cap’s west side), sometimes with friends, sometimes alone. Just to remind myself that I can still do it.
Today, I sit home, letting my body recover from being slammed into the rock in Solar Slab Gully, in the Red Rock Canyon, Nevada. (Top photo) It happened 2 weeks ago, and I was sure I was fine afterward (aside from a cut and some spectacular bruising). But my body now says otherwise.
Last week, I did some gym climbing for the LA Times. The writer of the article, Jim Rainey, was surprised to hear about my fall, after the article appeared. I’d never mentioned it.
When I described it to him, he said I’d been injured. I never thought of it that way. To me, “injured” means someone had to intervene in some way — to stop serious bleeding, to bandage a wound, to set a bone. Anything else is just bumps and bruises.
So this Halloween Day, I’ll raise a glass with dinner to the (sometimes painful) adventure of climbing with my kids and my friends, and of running and climbing into what the French call “the third age” of life. It’s a privilege to live long enough — I know many who were not granted that privilege — and to have a body willing and able to do so.
So, even though this holiday commemorates the day of the dead, my toast today is to life:
L’chaim! To life, and to living it fully — on our own terms!