A Terrible Idea

Tommy Caldwell on Climate Change and POW's “Outdoor State of Mind” | Teton  Gravity Research

“This obsession is a curious thing. Sometimes I wonder about the merits of devoting so much of myself to a singular climbing objective. Much of the time it beats me down, leaves me hanging my head in despair. But then there are the moments that bring me to life. When excitement wells up inside my chest in a way that doesn’t happen in every day life. Today my fingertips were cracked and bleeding. I made no progress despite great conditions. Now I am on the ground and can hardly contain my excitement to get back on the wall. It’s a crazy rollercoaster and I owe my family and partners a great deal for encouraging me through it all.” -Tommy Caldwell

Mountain climbing, especially free-climbing, is a terrible idea. Unless you’re world class like Tommy Caldwell (and even then it’s limited) you won’t make any money or get accolades. The training and conditions are brutal. And…you could die.

Producing a play is also a terrible idea. While you won’t die, the training is rigorous, it’s a ton of un-fun yet necessary work, you’ll most likely lose money, you probably won’t get any accolades, and it’s really freakin’ hard to get people to come.

But. When you truly love something, when you’re obsessed, when you just have to do it…you do it anyway.

P.S. Check out this excellent New Yorker profile on Tommy Caldwell. And fantastic documentary “The Dawn Wall.”

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