Everyday Dirtbag Entry #14.

Basically, I get obsessive. With everything. But writing and climbing especially.

With writing it goes like this. I sit down to write a simile:

“The horse lowered its head like a man reaching down to the water.”

Bu that’s not the image I want. I try again.

“The horse dropped its head like lowering a loaded gun.”

Too ominous.

“The horse lowered its head like a bucket dipping.”

Too vague.

“The horse lowered its head like a willow branch.”

I don’t know. Too natural?

See what I mean?

And with climbing it’s no better. An example:

Jeff and I were working the slab boulder project that would become “My Only Friend in the World Jeff Hess is Better Than Dave Graham” (V7).

There’s one good start hold. A quarter pad deep.

Right hand start hold.

This is when I get weird. I obsess. The left hand is bad, so forget it. The left foot is awful too. So this right hand hold is the key. The best we have. Now I have to figure out how to utilize it. Open hand? Crimp? Index finger and middle? Middle and ring? Lock the thumb? Leave it off?

I try open hand to half crimp.

Open hand

I pull and fall. Try again.

Then full crimp. Then crimp with thumb across the top.
And crimp

Fall again. And twelve more times.

My right index finger has a hole in it. The hole looks like it was poked by a sixteen penny nail. I tape it. Try again. But the tape slips. I have to let my finger heal. And I still don’t know what the best grip is for sending the problem. I worry about my grip. I think about it a lot. I find myself staring at the mirror but thinking about a hand hold on an unsent boulder project.

I go on vacation and spend two weeks thinking about that one hand hold.

I’m sure that’s normal.


2 thoughts on “Everyday Dirtbag Entry #14.

  1. When it comes to obsessive behavior I think people see it too black and white. Obsessive bad=Obsessive Compulsive right?. Obsessive good=He put his mind to it and achieved i.e. every failed attempt was one closer to the goal

    Perhaps obsessivness can be looked at in a different light.

    When Obsessive Compulsive doesn’t fit, try…

    Obsessive repulsive….Totally unaware of an obsessive thought pattern that pushes others away.

    Obsessive convulsive….Someone literally faking a seizure to get away from a person completely unaware of obsessive behavior.

    Obsessive He’stallsive….Obsessively bringing up a person’s height who is abnormally tall.

    Here’s a couple more….

    Obsessive Awareness…..the carthartic experience of identifying one’s own obsessive behavior and taking strides to keep it under control.

    Obsessive Bewareness….Watching your surroundings to avoid contact with an obsessive person.

    Obsessive Dostareness…Uncontroled staring in disbelief at a person who lets their obsessive nature take over, and work a hole in thier finger while trying a route.

    Obsessive Don’tcareness….the person who HAS to obsess to you even though they risk social rejection…..”It just feels so GOOD to tell people how Good I am!”

    Obsessive Nohairness…..worring about impending baldness.


    Obsessive comediac…..acknowledging and capitalizing on one’s own obsessive behavior simply for other’s enjoyment.

    -Awesome article Pete!

    -Do you think you could add spell check to this web page?


  2. Sometimes I capture this person I know really well being obsessive. He doesn’t know I’m watching. He mumbles. Moves his hands to an imaginary hold….then he stares off. This pattern might be repeated two or three times. I usually watch for a minute, then quietly slip away. I don’t tell him what I’ve seen. I wouldn’t want to embarrass him, or make him forget what he had just learned.


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