Blog Post 6: In Which I Write About Recent Events, And Also, A Drama

Where in the world is Karissa San Diego??!!

Ha.  I feel like this is the most common question asked Jason and I, followed not too distantly by “Are you two ALIVE?”, which is running right next to “I thought you were in Spain?”

So, in a little FAQ of my own:  We have just landed in Las Vegas, NV!  We are totally alive and completely well, psyched about rock climbing and the continuation of the trip, and we are not quite in Spain…. but as of February 29th, we will be!

I have some catching up to do regarding our last few weeks!  It’s actually taken me some time to figure out what and how to write this, not because it’s of any real significance, but mostly because I was REALLY frustrated with the ending of our Hueco trip.  Conveniently, I’ve written a small drama to describe the last days of our trip, to give you a general idea of what was going on.

First, to introduce the characters:

Good guys:

Myself, clearly.  Picture a really pink person wearing all purple with huge forearms!  (I’m constantly sunburned, despite SPF 45 sunblock, I was gifted a million purple items for Christmas, and… well… it’s my story, so just go with it.  Huge forearms it is.)

Marshall-Machine.  Imagine this character as a really hilarious guy, with excellent abs, who is a rock crushing machine.  Literally, rock turning to dust between his fingers.  Like a cross between Arnold and Vin Diesel.  Again, it’s my story.  Just go with it.  🙂

Chief Heerema.  A wise Native American man, Cheif Heerema has fought many ninjas and won.  He is the guru of ninja fighting.  

Bad guys:

Extremely Difficult Rock Climb.  A short, stumpy, but furiously difficult to defeat little rock ninja.  This guy looks easy to decipher, but will fool you 9 times out of 10.  Or, in my case, more like 100 times out of 100.  But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Evil Ego.  Said ego belongs to your wonderous heroine.  More of a vicious enemy than one might believe, it turns out Evil Ego is like 7 feet tall and weighs 350 pounds.  The linebacker of my brain.

Our drama commences in a little wilderness area you might have heard of called Hueco.  This area is beautiful!  In the wilds of Texas, it’s populated by an endangered form of pig, and the parking lots are crowded with men in spandex and taco trucks. 

And so, our story commences.

I, of course, have been running the rocks like a serious gangster, putting those huge forearms to work.  Along with Marshall-Machine, I’ve been turning the rocks of Hueco into a pile of desert dust.  Cruising around the tiny little piles left in my wake, I run across a short and stumpy ninja-like rock. While I’m sizing up the competition, so to speak, Evil Ego sidles up next to me from around the corner.  Evil Ego LOVES drama.  Even more than drama, Evil Ego loves to instigate, and after instigating, she loves to be on the sidelines, talking crap.  In her little incessant voice, Evil Ego starts goading me, trying to get me to start a fight with Extremely Difficult Rock Climb, the little stumpy ninja.

“Look at how small and tiny he is!  You could totally take him.  Probably wouldn’t even take you very long,” Evil Ego pipes up.

“I’m not really sure I’m looking for that kind of fight.  He looks tough.  Looks like he’s run off a few challengers, and I’ve never beaten a ninja before,” I respond.

At that moment, challengers arrive, poke at Extremely Difficult Rock Climb, fail miserably in their attempt at conquest, and leave.  Only one man succeeds in besting this small and stumpy ninja.  This man is a BAMF in his own right, as proven by his last name, Heerema.  Cheif Heerema, being an extremely wise and positive leader, chimes in, “You can do it, Karissa!  I can attest, he’s short.  It’s practically already a done deal for you.”  A cord of multiple colors is woven into his hair, and a small but regal feather flutters at it’s end.  With one hand he absentmindedly brushes it back behind his neck. 

With Evil Ego in one ear and Cheif Heerema in the other, I saddle up to Extremely Difficult Rock Climb.  “You wanna play rough?” I ask– and clearly, the answer is yes.  A battle between myself and Extremely Difficult Rock Climb ensues.  “PASSAT!”  “Kee-ya!”  “PAH!”  Without going into too much detail, suffice to say that I cannot best the short and stumpy ninja. Cheif  Heerema watches to one side during the fight, yelling out encouragement.  Evil Ego stands to the other, at times providing positive insights, at times sending out reasons I will lose.  After several sustained bouts, I finally succumb to defeat.

“Maybe not today, Extremely Difficult Rock Climb… but I’ll get you.  I’ve got you in my sights now!”  I retort, and huff off, Cheif Heerema, Evil Ego, and Marshall-Machine in tow.

Back at camp after such a brutal beating, I debate going back for round two.  Evil Ego, having started the fight, now does her best to keep me intact, telling me “He’s really strong!  Maybe you shouldn’t go back.”  I, not being very smart, really, retort,” He’s not that big!  I’m strong too!  Have you seen the size of these forearms?  I can take him.”  And with that, having made up my mind, I head to bed to rest for the next day.

Sadly, however, the next days pass much the same as the first.  I do well against challengers who have not yet made it to ninja level, but every time I battle Extremely Difficult Rock climb, I lose just the same.  However, I stubbornly refuse to give up.  Each day I learn something new about Extremely Difficult Rock Climb’s battle techniques, with the help of Cheif Heerema.  He is precise in his beta: “Karissa, do not grab there.  Grab there, with your finger here, exactly.  Just so.”  Each day I tell myself I CAN succeed, building up my confidence levels.  Surprisingly, with each piece of positive self-talk, Evil Ego grows in size as well.  She is now well over 8 feet, and getting bigger.  Wrapped up in my own world, I don’t even notice.

Eventually, the final days of the trip to Hueco arrive.  I have very few days of battle remaining.  I stomp around the few rocks which remain intact in Hueco, but my heart isn’t in the game.  All I can think about is Extremely Difficult Rock Climb.  Finally, the last day arrives.  Along with Marshall-Machine, I head up in the direction of my nemesis, stopping along the way so that Marshall-Machine can battle his very own ninja.

Marshall-Machine warms up, limbering up his rippling abs and arms.  Round One against the ninja!  Marshall-Machine is defeated.  He steps back, takes a breath, eats a banana, and heads back in for Round Two.  He fights!  He yells!  He is defeated.  “I’m going to rest for a short while.  I’ll watch you whip this Extremely Difficult Rock Climb, and afterwards, I’ll come back and be all inspired and I’ll get this guy,” he tells me.  I agree.

We move quickly up to where we know we’ll find Extremely Difficult Rock Climb, and sure enough, there the stumpy guy is.  Same as always.  I, along with Evil Ego and Marshall-Machine get ready for the fight.  I am confident, and upon entering the fight, make mistakes.  But I don’t give up!  I fight!  5 rounds go by, and still I am defeated against this short and stumpy ninja.  I begin to feel terrible.  Evil Ego is looking a little sick.  So we take another breather, head back to the ninja Marshall-Machine is destined to defeat, and watch some serious ass-kicking.

Marshall-Machine takes off his shirt.  He takes off his shoes.  And BAREFOOT, with a mighty roar, he defeats the beast in Round Two!

Elated, I rush back to Extremely Difficult Rock Climb and fight again!!!  (Is this starting to sound redundant?  I told you I wasn’t very smart.)  I am defeated yet again, and filled with wrath, turn blindly to another nearby almost-ninja rock and begin to unleash my anger.  I throw myself at this smaller, weaker version of Extremely Difficult Rock Climb, in a fury, repeatedly, over and over and over… and at the end of the day, I must admit defeat.  Turning to my right, I spy Evil Ego, lying on the ground, covered in dust, bruised and broken.

“What…. have…. you done… to me….?”  Evil Ego gasps.

“But,” I answer, “Why are you injured?  What has happened to you?”

“While you were taking a beating, so was I…….” Evil Ego can barely get the last words out of her mouth.  “I…………….  your evil………… twin………..”

And so I must accept two defeats that day….  both the defeat in the fight against Extremely Difficult Rock Climb, and the defeat of knowing that Evil Ego was part of me, that Evil Ego was in fact my Ego.


And the curtain falls.

OK seriously.  Yes, I did just take like an entire HOUR to write out that RIDICULOUS section of blog that YOU just took the time to read!  But anyway, I have to make fun of myself, because otherwise I’m an a-hole.  I put a lot of time and effort into a really hard rock climb, and in the end, I had to accept defeat and failure.  I was surprised by how frustrated and angry it made me.  When we climb, part of the journey and the attempt is mental.  If you don’t honestly believe in your own ability, to do a climb or grab a hold or make a move, your subconscious will hold you back.  You can never succeed if you don’t believe you can.  So I’d spent a lot of energy convincing myself that I could and would do this rock climb, and I was emotional when I didn’t.

I know.

Being emotional over a rock climb is STUPID.  They don’t matter!  But I felt it anyway.

So.  While the ending of the trip to Hueco was not as successful in terms of number or climb as I had hoped it would be, it was extremely educational for me.  I’m fighting to keep this ego in check.  🙂  And to understand that my failure was not necessarily about ability, but about setting attainable goals.

Blah.  Enough of that boring stuff.  Want to watch an excellent video made by Leslie Timms of Can-Am Flight 5.14?  It’s a video of Hueco.  I dance in it.  It’s awesome.

And, some spray buddy space, since they won’t really talk about it:  Kyle, Leslie and Jason killed it.  Jason did two V9s, Leslie did a V10, and Kyle, recovering from an injury, killed the V6 and V7 grades, despite shoulder pain.  My friends are badasses.

After the end of Hueco, we drove to Albuquerque, and then I flew to Portland and spent a week at my grandmother’s house.  It was awesome.  I didn’t have any internet, so you had to wait longer for this blog-piece!  Then I flew back to Albuquerque, watched a play that Miranda and Renee (Jason’s sister and step-mother) acted in (my inspiration for that ridiculousness above), and then we drove to Flagstaff.  We stayed with Rayne Zaughsome (who is as awesome, perhaps even awesomer, than his name implies), and today arrived in Vegas!  We’re staying with a friend named John, and will be meeting up with Chief Heerema and his super-awesome wife for more rock crushing today. 

And then, eventually, I’ll write another silly blog.

Did you really make it to the end of this one?  Kudos.  🙂  And Happy Valentine’s Day!

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