I’ve taken some time off from writing on my blog. With life being so hectic, frankly…it just gets put on the back burner more often than not. And with hearing that blogs are dead, I was pretty unmotivated to write.  But, I feel like writing gives me a chance to express thoughts that are floating around in my head. So, whether or not people read this…it doesn’t really matter…however for me, it feels better after I’ve done so…written out my thoughts that is. 

Life is hectic…and there’s no getting around that. How I get through it, handling all the craziness? I try to be more organized–to be more efficient.  It’s no easy task juggling life and climbing.  Two different worlds constantly colliding, both needing attention, both requiring great focus and commitment.  I’m constantly battling with time, organization, and follow through. My mind is constantly being pulled in 65 different directions, and without that settling feeling of having my ducks in row…well it’s kinda like a ticking time bomb.  Or constantly being hit in the head with a shovel.  Lol.  MIND YOUR HEAD!

My typical day starts with getting the family organized, kids off to school, breakfast, etc. Then I start work and crunch a bunch of hours in front of my computer (design work), as well as attending meetings all the while dealing with a bunch of admin work. Mid day I’ll head to the gym for a training session, waste myself for a couple of hours and then head home.  Dinner time. Family time. Kids go to bed, hang with the wife for a bit, then head into my backyard and train specific climbing movement (arch/bouldering walls), and finish off with conditioning. Come in for a snack, stretch, catch the sports highlights on the tv, then head to bed.

I try to be on time, in time, to beat the time, create more time, but mostly…find myself lost in time. Easily distracted by “shiny things” I’ll try real hard to focus on one task but so quickly distracted by another. It’s chaos. All the time. But here’s the thing…it’s not all bad. In fact, it’s hardly bad at all. Re-reading the previous paragraph…the typical day, there’s actually nothing “bad” about the usual way of life. I have a wonderful family, a great job, all the while being a professional climber. Sure there’s stress…but that’s what keeps you on your toes.  I’ve established the ability to train close to home (10ft from my back door in fact), which is where so much of my time is taken up, created a job for myself that allows the freedom of movement (merely needing a laptop and wifi), and established a love for my family that supersedes all of the above, giving me the ability to drop everything and just “be” with them.

I’ve been asked a lot lately how I do it, manage all the aspects of what’s my life. Climbing, traveling, training, family, work, friends, etc. First off, it’s no easy task.  BUT.  Whoever says it’s not possible, or kids get in the way, or blah blah blah…they simply haven’t tried hard enough.  It’s almost like a head game.  How much can you mentally handle, how much can your mind sustain with copious amounts of effort? Star here: Family first. Get that straight and everything else will fall into place. As they say “happy wife, happy life” lol.  When my wife says that to me, glaring at me…all fun and games…but there’s merit to it. Choose for another’s highest good and you’ll find yourself reaping what you sew.  And if you don’t have family (wife, kids), still…treat those around you with same respect…you’ll experience the same sort of peace, or joy.

This past winter…it was one of the best season’s I’ve ever had. A 4th place at a world cup, North American Champion, redpointing my hardest routes to date, honestly…so happy.  But there’s always more, you can always be better. And although I had a really great season, there were factors that crept in, distracting me from possibly reaching my utmost of potential. The definition of distraction is : 1. A thing that prevents someone from giving full attention to something else.  2. Extreme agitation of the mind or emotions. Yup, sure experienced those two things. And what lead to that? Not being as organized as I would have liked, leading to further chaotic spurts of craziness, thus tilting me off balance.  It’s almost like we’re each given a plate (like a dinner plate).  It can only hold so much.  Yes, you can pile things on top, being creative with your “space”, but then the plate gets heavy..things start to slide of the edges.  Life can be like that.  My life can get like that. Clear your plate off as best as possible. Take on what you can, finish those tasks, then add more to your plate.

It’s been several months now since my season ended (winter climbing/competitions), and with the summer months encroaching, I’m really motivated to sift through the craziness, simplify things (if that’s even possible) and get all my ducks in a row.  Through work, life, family, climbing, travel, the works…I fully realize in order to achieve certain goals set for this coming winter and even with life in general (better husband, father, business operator, friend)…I need to be more organized, more attentive to details, and try to be calm through “the storm”.  Finding that place of normality is all relative to your life. Normal to me is chaos from start to finish. Normal to you might be getting home from work, putting your feet up and having a beer. That sounds nice too. But with my goals, ambitions, and dreams…I need to exercise a new state of normality, more calm, more peace, more simple. I once spoke about “too many minds”, too many distractions–your brain can only handle so much for so long before it starts to melt down.  I admire some of my european friends; their way of life is so much simpler. We, in North America, distract ourselves way too much.

I’ve just built a new website to separate my climbing life from my personal life: http://gordmcarthurclimbing.com.  Organization. When it’s time to focus on climbing life…focus on climbing life.  When it’s time to focus on personal life, give all your attention to that. I’ve found mixing the two can get muddy.  My good friend, a world champion in climbing…you walk into his house…there’s not one sign of anything climbing related. All of his trophies, medals, posters, gear, etc…all at his work place (all be it that’s a climbing gym he owns…but still).  He separates the two lifestyles. I like that. Less distraction when needed. My new website will give me the opportunity to poor energy into that, for the time it needs, and then walk away from it when I need to.  Organize, simplify, focus on the task at hand, and then move on to the next.

If I want to achieve my goals this coming winter…I need to try real hard at simplifying my life(style).  Simple (sort of).  I’ve also decided to start writing here again (my blog).  Honestly, I don’t really care if blogs are dead.  This place, my blog, it gives me a chance to sit and express my thoughts, an outlet with no judgement, no pressure…just me…and the keyboard.  It feels good to talk again, to clear thoughts out of my head.  My head gets full, and it hurts sometimes.  This helps.

More to come…