Monday, October 22, 2007

Red River Gorge Reflection

This past week, after returning from the RRG, has been super busy without the normal regiment of climbing. Since we got back late Monday I had some hours to make up at work and some sleep to regain. The four days of climbing and travel took a lot out of me so I decided to take some days off from the gym to recover. I didn’t get back to the gym until Thursday and my finger was still nagging me from the trip.

For the last few weeks one of my old tendon injuries has been acting up. It doesn’t really hurt when I climb but afterwards the flesh below my knuckle is quite tender to the touch. This weekend became a rest weekend and I had some additional time to recover. I hope to write a blog later this week about injures referencing some of Lynn Hill’s recent blogs.

The lack of climbing and the recent RRG trip have given me food for thought about “hard” climbing. During our stay at Miguel’s I saw more talented climbers than I have ever seen before. It was almost like Dosage 5 or something. I have been to some bigger comps and have seen many of the stronger boulders before but this was something new and inspirational. After seeing all the climbers and reading about their many ascents at the Red I began to wonder about my personal climbing.

The beauty of having all of these talented climbs was that they were sending routes that I was familiar with. Climbs I had stood below in awe of the beauty and difficulty of the line. Not climbs I had sent or even tried but climbs that I dream about getting on. These were climbs not far away on the gorgeous cliffs of Ceuse but here in the USA in the RED!

This trip really taught me a lot about motivation, hesitation and mind set. Of the nine hard routes that I attempted I was able to send five of them. Compared to past trips to the Red I was thrilled with my level of fitness and the climbs I did. More important though were the climbs that I “failed” to lead cleanly. Even the attempts on the climbs I did send taught me a lot about what I need to be working on.

The biggest thing I learned from trying all of these hard routes was the effect of hesitation on the outcome of the climb. In simpler terms when I failed to commit to a move or sequence on a climb I would waste time. There were times when I could have done a move had I tried it first go but I was un-willing to commit. These decisions made me doubt my self and prevented me from giving the 100% needed for the climb.

While my fitness has been improving I think that figuring out how to commit and how to suppress negative thoughts will be a bigger contribution to my climbing. Climbing more routes, as opposed to boulder problems, has really shown me this weakness in my climbing.I think working on this will help me be in better touch with my self and allow me to climb harder.

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