Damaging my hands is not a good thing

(Part 52 of 73 in My Journey)

I used to think blisters, busted skin, and crusty scabs were badges of accomplishment. But now, I think that if my hands are wounded I have done something wrong.

If I have a bashed shin, a bleeding elbow, or a bruised rib then clearly I’ve done something wrong to damage those body parts. So why did I think that injuries to my hands were cool or something of which to be proud?

tl;dr: Hubris.

Almost everyone I know has soft hands. I know a very few people who work in trades who have tough hands, and I know some Parkour people with seasoned hands. So I thought it was cool that I could sometimes show off my “I worked hard hands.” Turns out that was just a way for me to brag. (Boo! Bad, old me! Time for me to re-read My Oath.)

Even worse, there were times where I’ve left parts of my hands, or even blood, on walls, obstacles, etc.. That’s actually pretty gross, and is the exact opposite of the leave-no-trace mentality that I want to cultivate in myself.

The light-bulb moment for me was the last time I went indoor bouldering. I climbed for several hours (at a leisurely pace and without damaging ANY body parts). When I was done I found myself thinking, “AWESOME! Look at my hands! All these pull-ups and scaf work are paying off!”

Lest I get pushed under the bus by hardcore people, I want to be clear: I train hard. I love “MDK”, “gauntlets” and mental/physical challenges. I do push parts of my body to their limits. Usually, I discover those limits were farther out than I expected. But, just as I do with the rest of my body, I am now going to do my best to take good care of my hands.

I’m happy with progressions for everything I do; Now I’ll try to also be happy with progressions for my hands. If it turns out that I have to stop doing something (or tape my hands, or *gasp* put gloves on) because my hands are going to give out, that tells me what I have to work on next: Toughening up my hands.

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