Zen On Dirt

Scrambling: Owning my amazing


I started writing a blog post about a week ago about scrambling the second Flatiron in Boulder and doing Peaks 1 – 5 on the 10-mile Range Traverse, two scrambly adventures that I was pretty stinkin’ proud of.

But I really didn’t like the post. The general gist of it was along the lines of ‘I want to push my limits and build skills in the mountains, and I got real scared both of these days, but I was also real brave, took deep breaths, and overcame, or at least semi-controlled the fear.

But I felt sort of dumb tooting my own horn about these two adventures.


I was so proud of myself for doing it, but at the same time, people do laps up the second Flatiron every day. They scramble up far harder routes on the massive blocks overlooking Boulder.


Inching my way up the 2nd, following the lead of The Long Ranger (check out his Highest Hundred Project that is starting in three days, seriously. Click. Do it!) maybe wasn’t that momentous of an occasion.


The night before, my little climber brother had told me, ‘The 2nd? Oh, you can walk up that one.’ That, I learned, is a false statement.


And the Ten-Mile Traverse was really scary to me, but people do it all the time. And they probably do it without having to straddle the kniferidges and scoot along.


I-70 is waaaaay down there!

I’m not really doing anything that cool, I moped.


Before the gnar. Lake Dillon in the background.

I seriously did. There was moping around a blog post. Somehow, I’d gotten sucked into the hole of ‘Since people are doing way harder stuff that this, me pushing past my fears really isn’t all that impressive or important’.


Which is a load of horse shit.


The Dragon. Hey Trish, what sound does a dragon make?

Every time I talk to someone about bikepacking and they say something along the lines of ‘Oh, my trip wasn’t anything compared to what you’ve done in the past’ I just want to slap them upside the head.


Of course your trip was amazing. Own that amazingness. Embrace it! And for goodness sake, let’s all stop comparing ourselves to each other. We all get to be amazing in our own special way.


Peak 4! We’re alive! Scott’s hair gets to be amazing.

And we all get to be beginners and fumble around and be scared and learn new things. In fact, we should all try to be beginners more often, because a beginner’s mind is the best mind.


Own that summit register.

So anyhow. Scott and I followed Justin Spumoni up the 2nd Flatiron, and two days later, we did Peaks 1 – 5 on the 10-Mile Traverse with Trish, which are the scrambly bits of the traverse. None of us wanted to turn it into a death march to finish the final five peaks, so we went down the Colorado Trail once the exciting bits were over.


And for someone who historically is terrified of heights and exposure, to the point of paralysis, I’m really proud. And I’m going to own that proud.

And I’m going to go scrambling again. Because it was rad, and I love learning how to do something new. Even if it scares the shit out of me.

And an extra huge thanks to Justin and Trish for putting up with our beginner-ness, showing us the way through and over the rocks, and being part of two incredibly memorable days.


5 thoughts on “Scrambling: Owning my amazing

  1. I should take a lesson from this. I don’t put up many bike posts these days because what I do can’t even come close to what my social media friends are doing on their bikes. I have an amazing new rescue cat, Houdi Joe Pye, and what he does is way more interesting, so my posts are cat-like these days. I need to get back to the bikey stuff, though. I’m out here on my bike, but it only matters to me what I post, (and don’t post) about it. You and Scott are incredibly awesome, and don’t ever forget it. Jo

  2. You are so right… the battle is in our own minds, not against the other climbers! Congrats on your conquests!

  3. Yes!
    “And we all get to be beginners and fumble around and be scared and learn new things. In fact, we should all try to be beginners more often, because a beginner’s mind is the best mind.”

  4. Be proud! I am terrified of heights to the point of paralysis too so I know that this was a big deal. I’m a little older than you, and I used to let myself not be proud of my cycling adventures each season because they were so much less impressive than adventures from earlier in my life. As you said, that’s horse shit. I now revel in each year’s adventures, even if the 25 yr old me would have thought that they were pathetic. Way to go!!!!

  5. Your pictures make me feel nauseous. That looks amazing to me!

    And the funny thing about comparing yourself to other people is that for everyone you’re thinking does way cooler/harder/faster things than you, there’s someone else looking at what you do and being impressed. I love having so many people on my radar doing cool things big and small…it keeps me remembering how many awesome things are out there waiting.

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