You know how they say, “art imitates life”? Lately I’ve been wondering if sport can imitate life as well (specifically climbing, obviously, in my case). Let me share with you a few parallels as evidence.

That boy who smells really great but also says things like, “You’re the only girl I want to talk to” (despite having several pictures of himself and some chick pressing cheeks together) writes Jen and she responds immediately (despite telling her friends only yesterday that she was TOTALLY DONE).


That same day Jen attempts a V2 and fails miserably–something that had become standard for her to top last year but has now, for some reason, become no guarantee for her to get.

 Jen’s play gets rejected from several (five plus) festivals and theatres. Rejection is pretty much standard in the industry, but maybe she’s putting all her eggs in one basket at this point???

 That week Jen climbs one 5.8 as a warm-up and finishes with extremely pumped arms and sore fingers as if she’s never climbed a day in her life. Her harness is also a bit snug getting over her butt.


 Jen books trips with about $1.63 remaining in her bank account


 Ok, she actually climbed pretty well that week.

 Yes. I have been backsliding in all aspects of my life. Career, love, climbing. You expect yourself to start a hobby, a skill, whatever, and to keep getting better at it, and then, suddenly, you get worse. And then you get worse because you’re getting worse. Maddening.


But all we can do is continue, right? I guess if everything just came easily and life wasn’t a series of ups and downs, things would get pretty dull. So, as 2019 comes to a close and we look out onto a sparkling New Year, I’m going to take this opportunity of a backslide to recommit myself to the things I value most.

My regular M.O. would be to count this entire year as a loss now, and for the next week-ish eat whatever I want and sleep whenever I want until 2020 comes and our human construct of time lets me say “Hey! Now I can start over!”

However, I’m not going to do that. I’m going to start today. Don’t get me wrong, I still totally buy into the “New Year/New You” platitudes and promises of renewal everyone hypes up. I mean, I’m pretty basic in that way. But 2019 wasn’t a complete loss and I shouldn’t throw it in the trash as one just because of a few bad months. I’m going to take these last moments of the year to reflect and refresh…as cheesy as that sounds…for I can start the next decade (the 20’s, how fitting), with as much zest and commitment as I can muster.

Chances are, there will still be some bad times. Chances are, I’ll backslide again. But maybe next time a little less than before. My problems aren’t that deep, I will climb higher than 5.10’s again, and I’ll stop double texting that boy.


Oh shoot did I…did I just double text him? Oh God, ok…uhhh…TOMORROW. I’ll start TOMORROW.

Happy New Year, friends!



Jen Alger Contributor theDIHEDRAL








10 Replies to “Backslide”

      1. Right? I first saw it on a paperweight. If I could have it on a T-shirt, I’d want it in the past tense. “Tried. Failed. Tried again. Failed better.” 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  1. My motto is “If at first you don’t succeed, you are about average.” You can always think of Yoda “There is no try, there is only do!” Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Enjoy the struggle. Allan

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I love this, I can feel this completely. Side note: I use to free climb for many years until I had a devastating fall, a TBI and back and leg injuries later I am no longer free climbing, at least not like I did back in the day. I dig your content, thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Reblogged this on Lovely Little Things and commented:
    I love this! So insightful on the parallels in our lives. Give it a read and comment some of the parallels in your own life.

    Liked by 1 person

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