I’m Waiting To Get On My Project…

Back in my younger days the this was basically my mantra. I was constantly lounging around at the crag resting up to get on whatever route project I was working on. Unfortunately, I was only good for one, maybe two goes on the project and I was done for the day (As I have outlined before, I am not very good at completing projects). Throw in 2 or 3 warm-up pitches and this doesn’t add up to a great deal of productivity. Here was my typical weekend:

  1. Obsess over one route the whole drive down on Friday
  2. Warm-up Saturday psyched for project
  3. Try project – send almost never
  4. Decide to “rest” the remainder of the day in case the project will go down on Sunday
  5. Wake-up Sunday feeling worn down because I climbed outdoors the day before
  6. Decide to wait on the project until I feel better on a future trip (likely weeks or months away) and only climb a few easier routes
  7. Leave between noon and 2 on Sunday to actually get home at a decent hour
  8. Repeat exact same pattern next trip

Pathetic right? I attribute this to a couple of factors, one of which is an admittedly lazy attitude on my part. The other factor is that I didn’t climb outside frequently enough, so when I finally did get outside I put a lot of emphasis on results. In my mind at the time, results equated with trying to push myself to the limit.

Now I am older, more experienced, more prone to injury and more apt to simply be happy climbing at all. I also spend 40+ hours a week chained to a desk. So when I see younger climbers I know repeating the same pattern outlined above, it is a bit hard to watch. Contrary to what I thought at the time, I was probably hurting myself more than helping by perpetually resting for “projects” because:

  1. Time at the crag really is a precious commodity. This is something that a lot of kids don’t realize until it is too late (this applies to most things in life as well).
  2. Your project will be a lot easier to send if you build up a base of easier routes instead of skipping straight ahead to the hard shiznit as can be observed by the paltry send total on my route scorecard.
  3. Too much focus on results leads to over training which leads to severe and most likely chronic elbow tendonitis among other injuries.

When I get back to climbing, I know that I will do a better job of utilizing my time at the crag. Until then I am glad that I have all of the great climbing sites around today to keep me psyched.

Posted In: From The Narc


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