Its been a great few weeks - I have been splitting my time between los angeles and san francisco, spending time with amazing people whom I love, having adventures, working on a few projects and FINALLY training again!
Starting to train hard again was an uphill battle - after so long off, then finals and moving, I was feeling really weak and upset with myself. Dragging myself to Rockreation was far less than an appealing prospect, especially since I still cant take falls so I have to make up all my own problems low to the ground. The first week was undeniably difficult, physically and emotionally as I struggled to come to terms with how much of the strength I had worked to hard to gain had disappeared in my months of inactivity. Fortunately, I found my motivation in the form of some really fun climbing partners and of course my amazing trainer Jamie who doesnt put up with any of my crap. This last week I have started to feel strong again, its an amazing experience to feel yourself becoming more and more at home in your body again and the strength is coming back much more quickly than I had expected.
On another note - I got my final grades back for my first year at Stanford! I was really nervous in the fall about starting there - I skipped my junior year of high school to live in Spain so I never experienced that kind of intense academic climate and the idea of going to Stanford was really daunting, especially since I had taken a year off after high school. I was afraid that either I wouldnt be able to handle it academically, or that I would but it would require me to sacrifice a lot of the other things I am passionate about - like my climbing. I am so happy that was not the case - I've finished the year with a 3.977 GPA. Also, over the last few weeks I have really taken some time to examine what I want to get out of my time at Stanford and have set myself some more concrete academic goals for the years to come now that I am confident I can handle the work. I have a lot of really exciting things planned for next year - including a non-profit athletic program I want to start up for kids in conjunction with some exciting research I hope to be doing, but more on that later.
Finally, I want to wish good luck to all the kids competing in Junior Nationals this coming weekend! It has been so amazing for me to see them all training at Rockreation during these last few weeks - I started the kids team there years and years ago and I cant believe that these incredibly strong, mature young adults are the little kids that I taught to tie a figure 8 on their first days of climbing. I have been lucky enough to climb with some of them and coach others over these last few weeks and I am so happy that the sport is still inspiring kids - seeing their passion and enthusiasm is truly wonderful.
I am actually running out the door at the moment to coach a girl who I am sure will be climbing circles around me in a couple years, then off to six flags for a fun rest day! This week I am heading back up to San Francisco for a couple of meetings but also to see friends, train, and enjoy being in the bay area without classes and homework!