Success is hanging on by your fingertips

Most of us go through our lives envisioning milestones. Some of are padded with the security of knowing they’ll (most likely) happen, like getting a driver’s license or finishing school. Those moments, while important, often prove anticlimactic.

And then there are the real milestones, the moments we dream about that finally meet our expectations the way we had hoped. Maybe it’s buying your dream car,visiting a place you’ve always wanted to see or just preparing a dish that turns out like the picture in the recipe. Whatever it is, it comes with an added sense of satisfaction that makes you remember and appreciate it.

Last night was one of those moments for me. After multiple failed attempts, we found a way to securely mount a hangboard* above the sliding door of the van. In the grand scheme of life and milestones, it seems sort silly. Surely having a bed platform or getting the cargo partition (which was a nightmare I wouldn’t wish upon anyone) would be more satisfying than drilling some holes into the wall, right?

But the hangboard is the first thing that has made me step back and realize that one day the van will be a home, and that it just might turn out the way I had envisioned it.

Not long after I started rock climbing, I couldn’t wait to have a place where I could mount a hangboard. I bought such a tall van partially because I wanted the extra space above the door specifically for one (and also because horizontal cabinets would be nice).

Because the metal above the door is so strong, drilling holes to put a support board was impossible. After many failed attempts, we finally cut open the reflectix and found non-threaded holes to put expansion bolts leftover from the cargo partition fiasco into. We used those bolts to attach a board to, covered it with thin plywood to match the rest of the wall and mounted the hangboard to that.

Compared to so many of the other parts of the project, it was a small and easy fix. Some might argue it was a waste of time, since it doesn’t bring us any closer to me being able to live in the van. But to me, it was the biggest milestone to date, and it looks and works just like I had dreamed it would.

At the very least, it can serve as a reminder for me to (quite literally) hang in there.

*A hangboard is a board with pockets or ledges of varying depth, which climbers hang from and do pull ups on in order to train


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