With a new year comes new beginnings--or so people say. I'm not fully convinced that with the passing of another year the previous one just goes away, but it does encourage taking a retrospective look at the time that has passed. I think its important to look at the past to learn and grow.
Looking back on my year, I have many fond memories and many frustrations. I spent most of 2014 injured and unable to climb or train. After a pulled muscle in my back last February, I tore the collateral ligament in my left ring finger in March. Followed by an extremely long recovery, about 8 months long, I finally started to feel comfortable climbing and training, then in mid-December, I took a nasty fall outside while traversing over water and rocks to get to another climbing area at Red Rock in Santa Ynez. I fell 10 feet down with my right leg landing directly on a boulder, shocked I didn't break it by the force and lucky to just end up with a huge hematoma along my shin and a muscle contusion. Unlucky because it took me about 6 weeks to feel comfortable climbing again. Alright now I've gone in 2015 with my chronicle of injuries but the saga continues. I climbed a bit during my trip to Salt Lake City, but on the final drive back to Santa Barbara I was stung by a bee in the thigh and had a more severe allergic reaction than the average person and was out with a sausage leg for another week.
Now after all of that I finally feel like I can say I'm injury free and ready to train. Injuries were one of my frustrations and my travel, albeit there wasn't that much, was one my fondest memories from the year. In late February 2014 I took my first major solo trip. I drove to Colorado Springs, CO from Santa Barbara and back to support one of my team climbers at USA Climbing's ABS Youth Nationals. Maybe I'll put together a much belated trip report about this trip. Here's a teaser photo.
A look at Zion from maybe a new perspecitve. MMcDermut Photography.
In early September I made the biggest purchase of my life as of yet. I bought my first car! I purchased a 1986 Diesel Toyota Land Cruiser BJ70 LX. It's a right-hand drive import from Japan, and I'm the first US owner besides the importer-dealer I bought it from. This is a memory I am fond of not only because I love my car but because I had quiet the adventure picking it up. The importer is located in Ozark, Missouri, and turns out it was cheaper to fly to Missouri and drive my new truck back instead of having it shipped to California. So I did, along with my mom (she was a bit apprehensive about all of this). We flew to Springfield, MO drove a little ways south to Ozark and I asked some questions, drooled over my car, and signed the papers. Beastie was mine :) Then we embarked on our adventure. We drove north to Kansas City then west to Denver. Cut south and then west again through the Four Corners, meandered through Utah/Arizona, stopped at Lake Powell, then Zion, headed south through Las Vegas and finally Beastie was home in Santa Barbara. Probable trip report to follow again.
My most recent trip to Salt Lake City took place in 2015, so I guess wait a year and I'll take a retrospective look at that trip then.
After thinking about my 2014, there were some holes that I want to fill in 2015. I definitely did not read enough. I have a few incredible shelves of antique books I've collected and I barely cracked open one of them. So in 2015 I'm going to read at least one of the shelves. Some of the books are quiet dense, like Tolstoy's War and Peace. So I won't get too caviller and say I'll read both shelves. I also want to explore my creative side a bit more. I hardly picked up my camera throughout 2014, but every time I did, I was reminded how much I love photography. Partially because of capturing moments I thought were worth capturing, but also because it was a creative outlet.
So hopefully 2015 will be a year of riding and time spent with Champ, climbing and training, reading and learning, photography and creativity. Trip reports to follow.