Motivation through Media

Now that I’ve finally trashed all of the advertisement “comments”, I can finally post something new.

Well to start things off, I find myself feeling unmotivated to go climbing or to even train to get stronger lately. I may be one of the only people that doesn’t like to hear anything when I’m climbing. I don’t like listening to music or people talking to me, especially not when they’re shouting beta. Because it’s the one thing that will make me mess up. And I tend to tune out my iPod as it is. So there’s no point. My focus is on what I’m doing. And I know a few other climbers prefer the same.

Having recently acquired a cleaning job at my climbing gym, I’ve realized that business is absolutely booming. And it’s hard to get in there to work or have a good session. I get discouraged very easily. Maybe it’s because I haven’t found the proper climbing partner with the proper vibes to be able to achieve perfect harmony. But either way, I find it quite difficult to stay motivated.

This morning I woke up and had no intention of going climbing today. Wasn’t feeling it and I was pretty tired and didn’t feel like do anything, in fact. So I started going through one of my favorite climbers pictures and videos. Granted he’s my best friend, so naturally I would go through them. And there were some videos that you could see how rock climbing had become a part of him. He was so graceful, even on some really hard problems. And he made everything look easy. Even though you couldn’t tell that he was trying hard by his natural climbing instincts, but you know that he was. It’s no piece of cake to float a V10. It’s most likely even harder to do that. To be controlled.

After watching maybe four videos and going through 248 pictures, I realized that that was my inspiration to go climb. To be that controlled and graceful. To be able to hold a swing if my feet cut, or to go static to a horrible hold, maybe it’s a crimp, or a sloper, either way. I wanted that. And I always wonder if those strong climbers had ever felt as I did. Watching the person I look up to, climbing strong and wanting to be like that some day. I have a lot of dreams and hopes for this hobby. And I’m sure there are tons of other people that feel the same. There’s just no easy way to get around it.

I know a few people that expect instant results and will complain if they’re not climbing well or aren’t getting any better. And I do talk to my best friend about this all the time. I explain to him that these people climb every day, are trying to skip grades (Climbs regularly V2 skips to V4 kind of stuff) and he got really annoyed with how people were taking it. So he said something that really puts it into perspective.

“I don’t understand why people think that they can touch a climbing hold and just be amazing right then. It took me years to learn how to climb and get really good at it. But these people expect to be good immediately. Nobody understands that rock-climbing is not natural, it’s not going to be comfortable or easy. You have to work for it.”

And I find myself feeling disappointed because I’m not getting any stronger. Even though I know it takes time, and I know that I am getting stronger, slowly. I just wish I had the knowledge of how to get stronger. I could make up all sorts of training methods, but I won’t know the effectiveness until I try. There’s another strong climber that I know, whom recently moved to Colorado, and he has a crazy workout method, and it works for him. I just need to make mine. And when I do, I’ll definitely share, because maybe it will work for someone else as well.

The Future

I recently attended a youth comp for Regionals. I’m no proud parent or even a coach for any of the climbers. But I attended none the less for the innocent reason  of wanting to watch. And I can’t even say that I wasn’t inspired by them. Kids of all ages were crushing on some of these problems. Problems that were harder than they actually thought. One girl, probably of the age of fourteen completely destroyed a V8 unknowingly. And she was the most nervous kid there. She was flashing all sorts of problems and was shaking on her waiting period. But as soon as it came down to it, her focus was solely on what she was doing.

I found that all of the kids competing were physically aware of themselves and had that strength to succeed. They did moves that I wasn’t even comfortable with doing. And of course, come to find out, that the climbers that I looked up to at the gym, were their coaches.

It really puts into perspective that these kids were the future of rock-climbing. And were driven by pure passion.

Of course I had my favorites because of the fact that they had been training at the gym that I had started to call my home. And of course they did well.

One of the coaches from my gym explained to me, “It’s always a good thing when you have something else outside of climbing. Because when the day is done and you’ve done everything that’s required of you, you can go rock-climbing to get away from it all. And you start to appreciate the time that you do climb. Whereas if rock-climbing were all that you had, you would think to yourself “Oh I do this everyday, it doesn’t matter if I send this problem”. And that’s where all of these kids get their passion from. These kids love to climb.”

And he’s completely right. He may quite possibly be the wisest person I know.

And I can’t wait to see the true potential of these kids when they make it to Nationals.

Gym Life

I’m not some well-known climber. Nor am I strong enough to be. Though my aspirations have always gotten the best of me. I simply live out a life that consists of friends, family, school and climbing. If anyone were to understand the concept of a “climber lifestyle”, it would simply be another climber, because when you explain it to a non-climber, they don’t understand and scoff at your “unquenchable thirst for adrenaline”. Though we both know that that isn’t the only thing that gives us drive.

Now that we have established who I am, we can move on.

I am currently affiliated in a climbing community. Not to say that I’m a huge member in it. But I at least get to witness some of the more amazing things of it. Not to confuse “Gym Life” with “Gym Rat”. Believe me, outdoor climbing is way better than gripping plastic.

The people that I see everyday, that climb with their hearts, have been a huge influence in the lively experience. But of course, they’re all extremely strong climbers, and in it together. Well at least some of them, I’m sure other gyms have become a victim to the drama that reflects that of which you were in high school. Whether it is started due to a misunderstanding or someone’s overly competitive girlfriend. I’ve had my fair run in’s with both.

I’ve found it extremely difficult to climb in a gym when you know that everyone is watching you. Even after you’ve established a friendship with the majority of them. Because in that one instance that you touch your starting hold on a climb, everyone’s watching you. Or so you assume, considering you can’t see from the back of your head. Maybe no one is watching you, but you’ll never know. Of course, after the first dynamic move you make, from whatever style hold to the next, your mind is on “Where should my feet go?”, “What’s the next move?”, “Awwww man, that crimp looks spicy”,  “I can’t believe I got that”, or my favorite “Hell yeah!”. Until you fall or send, of course. Then you’re back to your bubble, either asking for beta or being congratulated. But no one realizes that, people watch because they want to see you succeed, and few want to see you fail, but so what?

There has never been an instance where someone wasn’t trying to help me succeed. By either teaching me how to campus, shift my weight, bicycle, bat hang, or throw for a gastone(?).   And when you’re learning from someone that has had to struggle to teach themselves how to climb because there was no one there to teach them when they started climbing, it’s worth it. But it’s like trying to shine in the dark, in the vastness of their shadow.

I know that I mean it when I say this, but I can’t wait until I can cast shadows some day in the far future. And I’m sure there are other people that think the same. It’s inspiring. And infectious.

Passion should have another definition; rock-climbing.