Sunday, 29 March 2009

Excuses and reasons.

1. Climbing ability.

2. Skin conditions. Sweat. Toughness. Weather conditions. Sun. Wind. Temperature. Humidity. Rock conditions. Rock quality. Chalk type. Shoe type. Shoe rubber. Tiredness. Illness. Injury. Diet. Warming up. Days on / days off. Light. Time. Atmosphere. Distractions.

There are many factors involved with challenging climbing and pushing personal potential. Actual ability (and all that entails!) is one. Temporary or external factors are many others. These factors can be present or absent, real or imaginary, effectual or exaggerated, reasons or excuses. They can be genuinely stacked in the climbers favour and the climber can crush or fail (maybe because of them), they can be genuinely stacked against the climber and the climber can still crush or fail (most likely despite them).

A climber may be foolish by ignoring such factors. A climber may be foolish by believing those factors have more of an effect than they do (there is no weighting given in the two lists above). But also a climber may be foolish by dismissing and disbelieving such factors.

On the other hand, a canny climber uses all the tactics and planning their armoury to stack all the odds in their favour. The canny climber also honestly knows when those factors have a genuine effect - and also that knows they still may crush....maybe.

Incidentally, a fair amount of the climbing I have done, I've done because of stacking the odds in my favour - often to overcome any shortcomings in No. 1. ;). But occasionally I've done well despite No. 2., and of course part of the learning process is to learn to deal with - or outwit - any odds stacked against oneself...

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