After having a lengthy discussion with one of the climbers, I concluded that on a hot day, you definitely needed chalk to climb. In fact, he said climbing on these kind of days wasn’t any fun because each time between handholds, you would have to stick you hand in the bag of chalk at your back. This man, who I am sure is an accomplished climber, was nevertheless young.
Then, a couple from Maryland came to camp with us to go climbing. They were in their 70s and had been climbing for most of their lives.
This couple was serene, the kind of couple that climbed all day, came back showered and then luxuriated with a good book and a glass of wine.
I overheard one of this couple’s conversation with another group of climbers. They said, “Oh, we don’t use chalk.”
The other climbers balked, “What do you mean you don’t use chalk?”
“We just believe that it really doesn’t make that much difference,” he then took a drink from his glass of wine.
Now, I don’t know enough about the sport to argue one way or the other, but I gotta tell you there is some self-confidence and some kind of mojo with this couple.
I want to be like them. I want to be in my 70s and in shape climbing, or running, or cycling. I want to have full faculties of my mind. I want to have a glass of wine in the evening and spout off controversial ideas–not because I am a smart alec–but because I am experienced and I know in my heart of hearts that I am right.