Dr. Heather Robinson Sends ‘The Happiness’ 14a
Congratulations to Heather Robinson on her second 5.14 and we guess that full time climbing thing is working out for her 😉
The Happiness of 5.14
Back in Boulder, I start my car and smile as Florence and the Machine plays on the radio. I’m reminiscing of my favorite crag – Rifle, CO.
“Happiness, hit her like a train on a track…”
I giddily belt out “happ-eeeeee-ness!!” with Florence as I relive the bliss of redpointing my second 5.14 called The Gayness in Rifle yesterday. I’ve unofficially renamed the route The Happiness because it’s more politically correct and the route makes me, well, happy.
Last fall I was able to redpoint Gay Science, a steep and tricky 13d, and full Apocalypse, a 13c, at Rifle. Chris suggested I try The Gayness, 14a, an extension of Gay Science with a tough ten move traversing boulder problem linking into the upper section of Apocalypse. It is knee bar intensive and really powerful for the first thirty feet, then endurance climbing for the next sixty feet.
A few days before sending The Gayness I had a really bad day on the route. I was falling all over on just about every crux and I had a minor break down. I told Chris I didn’t think I was strong enough to climb this thing. I let my ego get in the way- I became self-deprecating.
Chris calls this Taurus mode (after my horoscope sign), and like a bull in a China shop, or a stubborn gal on rock – watch out. I would fall off the first boulder problem of the route repeatedly, and instead of resting and focusing on executing the moves, I would yank back up the rope as fast as I could and throw myself at the cruxes like a crazy person.
I have a lot to learn about climbing and myself, but one thing I know is I give all my effort to the things I am passionate about in life- I don’t give up. Rejection and failure is really hard to deal with, and sometimes I let it get to me. It’s funny, but often times after I have a mini-meltdown on a project, I will actually succeed within a few days. Maybe it’s my own little way of letting go of any expectations and finally being able to focus on the task at hand.
Projecting at your limit can be the most frustrating thing. Ultimately, you have to remember that without the mental challenges of trying a route just within your physical ability you would not be able to revel in that great sense of accomplishment once the goal is achieved.
Life entails a series of successes and failures. It is wonderful to be able to take a moment to soak in the sense of accomplishment this climbing success has given me, for “Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.” -Dalai Lama
A huge thank you to Vikki Weldon (sweetheart and Canadian Crushette) for the photos.
Dr. Heather Robinson, prAna Ambassador
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