Saturday 3 April 2010

Shortcutting failures

It only takes a few minutes to climb the hard sport route you’ve been trying, or the crux section of that mixed climb, or the anaerobic last half mile of triathlon etc… People think it’s that bit that's the hard bit - the bit that separates the ones that get to the belay or the top or whatever.
It’s not though is it? Because if that crux few minutes of the task is so important, it’s because you’ve invested a hundred failures, crap days, rehabs, and grind that gave you the fitness, the tactic you didn’t think of before or the grit to deal with the effort. A lot of folk go to great lengths to minimise or avoid failing. And that’s the reason for the ultimate failure. It’s not even endurance of repeated failure that’s the limitation - it’s not that hard to get over, really. It’s not unusual either. I think it’s just the orientation away from failure that’s the problem. 
Trying to bypass failure is the shortcut back to the start. The shortcut to the end is directly through the failures.
PS: John from Stone Country posted pics from working the project in the Arisaig Cave. For those of you in bouldering mood, we have his books Bouldering In Scotland and Essential Fontainebleau guides back in stock in the store.

1 comment:

  1. Great points - I've failed on routes, problems, even in training (with not so ideal methods) to improve my own standards of climbing, but in doing so, it's made me into a better climber. Sometimes by even training the wrong thing (e.g. some strengths) or way will lead to those improvements in the long run.
    And on that note, I'm off to get shut down on some gritstone slopers :)