This was a good week for me to overhear as my husband watched a short film about Michaela Kiersch, a 21-year-old woman who was the first lady to "send" The Golden Ticket, a rock-climbing route in Kentucky established by a man in 2009, and that had since been considered the domain of men climbers.
It's not so much that she did The Thing. It's the way she talked about climbing in general.
If you're not failing in climbing, I don't think you're pushing yourself to your full capacity. You just have to accept the failure that comes with trying something that hard.
Accepting [it] is hard. I just set this mental standard that yes, it's hard. It's hard for me. It's gonna be hard and I'm gonna fall. But one of these times I won't. And I have to be patient.
She did't say blanketly "I like when things are hard. It makes me feel good." She talked about being drawn to challenge, and accepting that it comes with failure and difficulty.
That up there is my third sketch for January; the last one before I start making final touches, colorizing, producing prints. And then I'll start working a print for February and then March and so on.
That print up there. I ... don't love it. I mean, it's my baby. It's the first one I conceptualized for this project, and the one that I keep redrawing to find the best version. I've still got the sketch pad in front of me (under my elbow as I'm writing, right now, in case I think of a thing to do to it).
Also, I'm not ready to write a story about Woman Two, for my fifty-two woman makers/business owners. I have a list a half-year long, and messages going back and forth with several ladies. And it's just that the timing didn't line up for me to be ready to write about one of them.
And the larger part of my brain this week—as things continued to not really come together in various ways—was saying "well, that Fifty-two Twelve thing was a nice idea. Too bad." THIS EARLY. Two weeks in. Because I didn't meet an arbitrary deadline I had set for myself, which was by-and-large invisible to the greater world.
And then I heard Michaela talking (I didn't even see the video until the next day), and she inspired me to build out a little space in my own self for these tiny failures that are bound to happen. The lines that won't lay straight, the timing that's just a little off (because—did you know?—woman who get shit done are busy getting shit done).
So a challenge for myself, while I sit on this particular perch of my Fifty-two Twelve project: live with the feeling of failure, take notes, think of the next move. Try it, miss; new move, try again. Miss. Miss. Miss.
Watch Michaela Kiersch do something people said only men could do
This video is worth your 16 minutes. The soundtrack, the views, the falls, the woman.