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 Page 1 of 3. Messages 1 to 20 | 21 to 40 | 41 to 47
Selling out
4:48:06 PM
I sold out. I f---ing sold out. And Iím pissed.

I was going to live the life of the true climber, travelling from crag to crag in my piece-of-shit car, climbing every day Ė except for rain and designated rest days of course. No responsibilities, no cares, no rules, no liabilities, no worries. Just human friends, mechanical friends, chalk, a rope Ö the odd Ďbiner or three. Who wants a mortgage ? Not me. Who wants to work 40 hours a week ? Not me. Who wants someone else telling them they canít go climbing ? Thatís right, nomme.

But it hasnít happened like that and Iíll be stuffed if I can tell you exactly why.

It probably has something to do with me being too stupid to realise how much climbing meant to me at the time. Or it could be the fact that Iíll pretty much say or do anything when Iím chasing a girl. Sometimes these actions come back to bite you. Sometimes for instance, you might actually catch the aforementioned girl, get a full time job, stop climbing, get engaged, get a house, get a mortgage, get married, get another house, get another mortgage, have a kid, get another house, get another mortgage, all the while working 6 years in the same job you donít really like to pay for the two mortgages you have. Just for example.

God I miss summers at Araps. Not even sure what itís like now, I assume itís roughly the same. Mornings started when the sun made your tent unbearably hot. And never before. Breakfast soon after then off to a cool gully since everything else was too oppressively hot. Did Syrinx on a 30 degree day early on in my travels and nearly died. Iím sure thatís why Doggerís gully was so popular. A little bit of actual climbing, a lot of talking climbing. Geez I could talk it up. Back to camp, into my shitbox Celica and back to Nati for a milkshake Ė theyíre not really any better than anywhere else but they seemed better at the time. Further on down to Toolondo if we were feeling frisky Ė it had water back then Ė afternoons back to try a couple more routes maybe, possibly some hacky sacking. Dinner was always that instant pasta that tastes like crap with those overly rich ready made sauces. Hey, Iím not reminiscing fondly about the quality of the food here. Heaps more talking Ė lots of it with strangers, and less about climbing as the night wore on. Increasingly pretentious conversation until the fire which always came in my direction convinced me that sleep was the option of choice.

Get up, someoneís moved out of a prime campsite. I upgrade. Inherit a few tarps to support my massively sunbleached tent. Between all the tarps and my tent, it may keep the rain out - if it ever rains - it may keep the sun off longer and keep me in bed another hour tomorrow morning. Thatíll be fine. I never packed up my tent when I left to go back to the big smoke. Always left it for the next visit Ė couldnít afford to let go of the prime spot. I figured I was in the 2nd or 3rd best spot in the gums, which crapped all over the pines. Never got that great spot that Dave seemed to live permanently in. Come to think of it though, I never brought it home, is my tent still there ?

And the thing is, there was there was never a conscious decision to stop climbing, it just happened Ė bit by tiny frigginí bit. So let this be a warning to those of you who havenít sold out yet. If you follow the path of least resistance Ė my path - youíll end up like here: fat, bitter, not climbing, and wishing all the while that you did. Itís hard to be a climbing bum, but I admire those who do. Nobody asks whether you want to grow up. If theyíd asked me, I would have told them to piss off and let me enjoy my instant pasta.

Merry Christmas everyone and save travels in the new year to all here..

4:54:39 PM
Ooohhh... such harsh words! Same appointment tomorrow on that shrink's couch then??!!

4:56:56 PM
oy f---thead, wake up buddy! you've got a wife and a son...your own f---ing family, now im no expert on the subject but i reckon that beats rock as sure as rock beats scissors (i agree with neil though its very well written)
merry christmas mate!!

5:02:16 PM
..thanks for the tip Andrew. Nicely written... i can taste the bitterness!

5:17:09 PM
Ah what a tangled web we weave! Your tale of woe should be a lesson to all......

You can always look forward to retirement at 65 (if the government will let us retire). By then in theory youl have paid of the morgages, the kids will have left home, so the only impediment will be the missus. Of course at age 65 you may be struggling to haul yourself up tiptoe ridge, but youll have plenty of time to work harder projects. Perhaps Conifer Crack will be retro bolted by then (who knows what the future may bring), and you can hang the draws of it and siege your way to glory.

5:29:23 PM
You may joke about it but I met a retired couple in Paynes Ford, New Zealand who were rock climbing there way around the world. To a fairly high standard as well, except for the lycra... that was unacceptable.

5:37:09 PM
On 29/12/2004 Ell wrote:
>You may joke about it but I met a retired couple in Paynes Ford, New Zealand
>who were rock climbing there way around the world. To a fairly high standard
>as well, except for the lycra... that was unacceptable.

This was the blue-rinse lycra scene at the Les Gaillands crag this year in Chamonix, France.

5:42:42 PM
whats so bad about lycra?!

5:50:24 PM
On 29/12/2004 Mighty Mouse wrote:
>whats so bad about lycra?!

5:57:47 PM
haha point taken
6:19:31 PM
Talk 5 minutes with the Fatboy about 'the old days' over lunch and this is the result!! Sorry everyone...

Other than the extra mortgage and child (and for someone who has been trying but probably won't be fortunate enough to call someone my son or daughter) life isn't so bad. Though I enjoyed my climbing life and wouldn't change it for anything, things do change. We get older, fatter and have to give other people some attention now. The fact that you are sitting at a PC trying to recompile an exe and working to give yourself, wife and son a better future is only making those memories seem better. Remember also all those times to scrimp and look under your car seat to find change. Going without just because you just didn't have the disposible income...

Given the events of recent days where not hundreds but thousands are dead, missing family, loved ones and a roof over their heads. Not being able to spend weeks living in the dirt and climbing does seem pretty trivial.

6:32:24 PM
I can live with lycra but you'll never catch me in a pair of those butt-ugly sandals. Volleys rule.

7:05:05 PM
I have to agree with fatboy to an look back and wonder what happened....
started dating = climbed less.... engaged = climbed less... married = climbed less.... .kids = climbed less....
and after all this time i realise i should never have let it go to the extent that i did.
Lifes about finding the balence and compromise...
having a wife and kids is great and i wouldnt swap it ...but i didnt have to give up the greatest sport in the world to achieve it....and its a damn sight harder to go back
then to stick to your guns and not lewt it happen in the first place..

8:52:49 PM
Ah, so many bittersweet memories, Fatboy.

Nothing compares with the flurried excitement of a campsite upgrade. Especially when it involves inheriting some permanent's handmade furniture. Once I came back from climbing for lunch which turned into a campsite upgrade to the Gum's primo site. You know the one - all the mod cons including tables and firewood.

An event like that deserved celebration so we wrote the rest of the day off with a 4L cask of port. Cheers to Wimmera sunshine.
6:24:28 AM
Do what I do and a lot of other people do and take the wife and kids to Arapiles and let them enjoy what you enjoyed so much. The food will be a whole lot better too.
9:45:16 AM
you could always move to the city with a lifetime supply of daytrip climbing (aka Sydney) and still be home for a bedtime story every night. Good luck with 2 mortgages there though....
11:02:49 AM
We all make choices in life, and in hindsight some don't seem to be ideal. But unlike you Fatboy some people have climbing taken away without being given a choice. A prime example is one ex-climber I know well who was also a good athlete. They have now suffered for many years with daily chronic back pain, where now even just walking around the block can be difficult on the bad days.

Reminiscing about those uni days where there were no responsibilities right now will look better! I have lived on both sides of the fence and also miss the multiple half year trips overseas just climbing, but also recall the hard life and sacrifices to make that possible. Both directions have pros and cons.

Ranting on a public forum will get some responses feeling your pain but isn't constructive. Instead, be proactive and go see a psychologist or better yet go to a marriage counsellor.

11:03:09 AM
So you sold out eh?
Let me ask you, what did you sell out to? A loving family? A prosperous life? A soul mate? A roof over your head with food in your belly?
Is love such a bad thing?

You had the courage to commit to a life of climbing, all the training and days climbing are indeed a worthy pursuit. But you moved on and made an even bigger commitment, that of LOVE.

11:24:00 AM
Jeeze mate, you really fu#$ed up, unfortunately I see plenty of people around in the same boat. As you readily admit, it is all your own doing so no sympathy here. It is so important in a relationship that you keep doing the things that make you happy.

If only you realised it sooner hey Fatboy. Sure you have to make sacrifices in any relationship but not to the point where you forget who you are and what you enjoy.

Hopefully some of the more easily lead among us can learn from your experience mate.

It is never too late though. You can't just sit back and condemn yourself (and your family) to a life of moping around thinking how you coulda been a contender. Time to put the foot down, if only just a little, and getting out and doing something that makes YOU happy.

1:06:54 PM

did it feel better to let that lot out?


the past always looks better than it actually was.

nostalgia isn't what it used to be.

love is like nostalgia, without having to wait.

freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose...
blah blah blah

what about just one mortgage?
& aren't you looking forward to teaching the littl'un the ropes when the time comes?

people have jobs and climb too.

i don't have a job and hardly cimb either...and i get pissed off about it, but do i do anything?

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There are 47 messages in this topic.


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