Adaptation: The Real Key Beta

by Chris Healy

Earlier in January, I planned to take a small trip down south to St. George for a bit of bouldering. It had been snowing and cold in Salt Lake for the past couple months, forcing me into the gym, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it just has the tendency to get old after a while when your true passion lies in climbing outside. I was looking forward to getting down south, basking in the sun, and attempting to tackle some of my many projects down there. As time grew nearer the weather was looking rather grim; full of all sort of wetness. Trip time grew nearer and nearer, but the forecast wasn't changing. I looked into other areas that are typically dry. Everywhere was going to be wet: Red Rock, St. George, Moab, everywhere! I had three days off of work and school with nowhere to go climbing. I was yet again forced into the gym. I was definitely bummed out over everything, but I took the opportunity to think about the situation a bit. Here was a chance to change my mindset and reflect on adaptation.

Photo by Jeff Skalla

Photo by Jeff Skalla

In Eminem’s song Survival he raps, “I'm not a rapper, I'm an adapter, I can adjust”. Since hearing this line for the first time, it has stuck with me. Eminem has had a long career which has spanned over many changes in music, especially within the rap and hip-hop genres. He’s been forced to adapt, forced to adjust. Anyone familiar with his work, knows that album after album, he simply keeps spitting out hits. It’s impressive to say the least.

Photo by Jeff Skalla

Photo by Jeff Skalla

Many of his songs have inspired me and this line in particular really got me thinking this wet, winter weekend. Here was a situation in front of me that I could do nothing about. The rocks were wet, and I was sad about it, but at the same time I had an amazing facility to climb in (Momentum Indoor Climbing). I could either sit around all weekend and sulk, or I could realize gym climbing was still climbing. This was key. So often we get stuck in the mindset that the gym sucks or that it’s just not good enough, but its better than nothing. My friends that live in St. George couldn’t climb that weekend at all, simply because they have no gym. They were stuck inside, waiting. One of my friends was so keen on climbing he even drove the 300-and-some miles up north to climb in the gym with me! It’s things like this that make me realize how good I’ve got it. I can climb year round rain or sun, because I have a gym. Others don’t have that option. Reflecting on this certainly made me grateful for my situation. And furthermore, it made me realize that I should work around the chossy conditions and adjust, rather than throwing a big fit, when things don’t go my way.

Though gym climbing was not what I had initially planned for that weekend, it is what I had. All in all, it wasn’t even a bad weekend! I ended up having a great time and further learned a powerful lesson: adaptation is key. One thing seems clear to me; If we want to succeed at our goals we have to adjust to the current conditions. The weather may change, injury may occur, financial crisis may hit; whatever it be, we must be able to roll with it and adjust. Nothing will ever be 100% prime for our success. We have to make do with what we have. 

Photo by Jeff Skalla

Photo by Jeff Skalla

*Originally posted February 5, 2017