One of the biggest challenges that type 1 diabetes presents is the complete and total lack of predictability. I guess 13 years of that has been a good warm up for this project. Weather and mail have been my biggest adversaries thus far and each time it looks like we are ready to get back on the road and make our next big push, something is in the mail and it somehow it stays out in the ethers and we stay here…becalmed in San Diego, waiting for it to arrive. It’s not anyone’s fault, it’s just another example of life getting in the way of even your highest-ranked priorities.

So, here’s hoping that in the next few days things get sorted out and we can get out of here. The good news is that there are some new developments that may be forthcoming in the next few weeks that could make a significant impact on the project. I will, of course keep everyone posted in due time, as said developments are tied up in outside processes that are bigger than our operation.

Also appearing in the “good news” column is the fact that I have been able to catch up on editing video and I am proud to be able to share my latest offering in this blog. I know that in the big scheme of things, this delay in our plans is not the end of the world and we have to stay psyched, motivated and keep climbing.

Today we broke 20,000 feet (20,235 to be more exact) and yesterday I completed my first aid climb (using gear for upward progress, aka stink-bugging due to the gear intensive and frequently slow moving nature of this style of climbing) which is the first direct step towards climbing a big wall in Yosemite this spring, so that was another significant milestone. At the end of the day, we are still moving closer to our bigger objectives via the detour route. It’s harder to see at times but we just have to knuckle down and win the battles and that’s how we can win the war.

The need for struggle from Living Vertical on Vimeo.

This video has it’s own mini-story in it–during this trip to Bishop, I spent a bit of time thinking about the need for struggle and the importance of failing your way to success. It’s humbling–and it is tough knowing that you have a high likelihood of getting your ass handed to you both in terms of your climbing and in the eyes of people who are watching. I struggle a lot with what people think. I know it “doesn’t matter” but it sort of does too–I feel like I don’t climb hard enough to impact people who are climbers and I don’t focus enough on my diabetes to interest the diabetic community as a whole.

In life–and in climbing, you battle yourself. You learn to control yourself, your movements and your emotions by being honest with yourself. At the end of the day, everyone has to choose where to mark “”North” on their own compass. For me, being true to my vision and honest is my guiding principal and I am willing to accept the fact that what comes of this project will be powerfully effective for some and meaningless for others. I can’t try and make people happy, just be thankful for the people who get it and keep being true to myself.

In this video, I had the opportunity to face my doubts about my climbing and the challenges of sharing this project with other people. It may sound silly, but when something is this personal, it cuts both ways. The impact of it can be much more powerful, but you tend to feel a lot more defensive or protective of it.

So I am learning to let go. Letting go can help you hold on tighter, if you can believe that. Once I let go, I sent my hardest yet, v4/5.12 (nothing to write home about but for me it’s significant because this is as strong as I have ever been) and I had the privilege of sharing some of my experience of living with diabetes with some friends that we made out amongst the boulders.