The Wheel of Life was not just a hard rock climb nor was it just a big number, for me the Wheel of Life was an experience. It took me from one side of the world and back again. When I got on to my flight leaving LA I had no clue I would send such a majestic piece of rock. Climbing for me hasn’t been about how hard or how bad ass, but for me climbing has been an addiction and a passion. My motivation was created from the beauty, the people and the movement that climbing encompasses. A mind game mixed up with strength, muscle resistance, power, and an un-relentless battle with your body.
On my first trip to Australia I had the chance to watch James Kassay work the Wheel of Life. This was my first taste of the Wheel and one of many days spent at the Hollow Mt. Cave. James’s effort was inspiring to watch and he successfully climbed the Wheel during that trip. He worked this climb for ten years which seems like a massive epic, but it shows dedication that many people could never understand.
To be honest I felt confident on my second trip to Australia because I knew I had improved as a climber and as a person. Dave, Nalle, and I wasted no time and started working the Wheel as soon as we got to Australia. Each of us made good links on the boulder after only a few days of effort, which gave me the confidence I needed to top out the Wheel. It was not until Dave and I spent a day working the last section of the boulder when we unlock a system that made the moves more about resistance and less about power. I want to say that Dave Graham was a massive help to me when I was working the sections of the boulder. We spent hours together climbing and critiquing the movement so that the final product was as efficient as possible. Those days were the most memorable and I will never forget how much fun we had in the process.
When I sent the Wheel of Life it was one of those days when you go climbing with your friends, you try hard, have fun, and don’t put any pressure on yourself. The energy that day is something that I wish I could recreate every climbing day. June 17, 2012 is one for the record books and for me a personal best day of climbing. When I think I can’t do something I will always think of that day and the way I felt before I sent and after.
Special thanks to: Jes, Remi, Dave, Nalle, Dad, Eddie