Saturday, 28 February 2009

Learning Day 4 : Persistence.

Persistence. Putting the effort in. Trying and trying again and trying hard. Despite baseless banter to the contrary, this is something I've done a lot of with my climbing - BUT specifically with my onsight trad leading rather than anything in the purely physical arena. I did muse on this a lot last year - having pushed myself and done well in the truly hard area of psychological challenges, I was keen to put some effort into the more relaxed area of pushing of my physical limits. Of course injury got in the way and that plan got shelved. Well almost, there was a bit of inspiration and a bit of an obsession over this winter, with the perfectly named Sulky Little Boys.

With this, I persisted. A short, seemingly simple problem, for which I put in about 8 hours of continuous hard effort over 4 sessions. Focusing, pushing, trying, learning, analysing, fighting, failing, and fighting again. The most effort I've put into any piece of climbing. And what did I learn from this...??

Day 4: Lesson 4: ????

...that after all that effort, I managed to do something of the same grade that I've done in an hour (La Poussif) or in a few goes and nearly flashed (Red Baron), and that it felt annoyingly easy when I did it (although amazing conditions and an intimate knowledge of the movement definitely helped). All that effort for what?? What progress?? Hmmmm... Maybe the lesson here is not about what happened and what I did, but about the process of persistence itself. About the ups and downs and failures and successes and motivations and reasons for doing something. Although I'm not quite sure what that lesson is yet...

There is also another lesson here about the personal nature of bouldering at one's limit, particularly strengths, weaknesses, body shape, and sequences. SLB is a hugely morpho problem and partly what took so much effort was working out the far harder shorties' way. Once this was unlocked and dialled into my mind, it became a lot more feasible. So, the lesson is perhaps also about increasing technical knowledge and awareness of sequence much learning still to much fun...

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