I like Reading Pierre’s blog.
It’s interesting and well written and he always manages to highlight something, some aspect of moving over Stone, that gets me thinking. Recently he wrote about excuses, youth and training. I can usually identify elements of myself in his writing and this post was no exception. I know what it’s like to want to climb at your best with your friends, especially when you don’t get to crag with them that often. And when the combination of head games, motivation and physical factors don’t make that magic mix I can recall numerous times when the excuses start to flow. Conditions, tired, sick, skin… all because despite acknowledging to ourselves that there will always be good mix days and bad mix days, we assume others don’t experience this. They crush at their level every day, always progressing, at every discipline – bullshit! Fear is definitely the limiting factor in most people’s climbing. At it’s most basic and tangible, fear of heights or fear of falling. They’re obvious and can be dealt with in an equally obvious manner. Also they don’t seem to affect anything else other than your climbing. But it’s the nasty, insidious other fears that creep in andseep out across lots of other aspects of your life. Fear of failing, fear of looking stupid in front of your peers, fear of creating or damaging any reputation. Ego. Expectations. Its quite common for climbers who push into a new grade to be expected to subsequently float up any route of a lower grade with ease despite style or discipline. It can get to the point where a climber would rather not try a route for fear of failing on it or if they do try a route they opt to hang instead of really going for the move.
Anyway I suppose the point of the ramble is that I’m going to aim to try whatever routes appeal to me regardless of who’s watching or how I’m feeling – no excuses. I simply enjoy working a way through a path of holds that seems impossible for me at first and this will involve a fair ammount of time hanging, falling and figuring out beta – is it being a grade whore? Is it punching above my weight? It’s just what I seem to enjoy most at this minute in my climbing.
Last week I went climbing and I didn’t climb anything. I got to the top of a route 3 times in a session after work but with one fall near the top each time. I know that would be classed by many as a shit day out but I was and am happy with it. I felt I climbed well for my standards and I fell off genuinely fighting, I came home with a slight pump and I got to play on rock. To be honest I like falling on lead so I was happy on all counts.
Good luck and happy failing :o)
Edit: I typed the above in school last Wednesday. Since then my resolve to stay positive has been tested. I think I had the worst crag day (performance wise) in the last few years – it was a shocker of a day when nothing clicked. But I suppose those days only act to make the perfect days seem even more amazing. Tomorrow I’m finished my antibiotics and am having my demon tooth pulled at last! Last week was a weird and brilliant mix of entertaining guests and meeting new people. I just regret having to work during their visit.
Anywho, best of luck and ride that psyche
… I hate dentists…