Cool piece on The Stone Mind where a number of climbers share things they wish they had known when they started climbing. I think I most identified with what Fitz Cahall had to say:
I wish had understood that failure is a pivotal part of the process. When I’m saying failure, I’m not talking about blowing onsights and sending a sport climb second go. I’m talking about wretched, abject butt kickings, the kind of thing that would have been embarrassing to report upon return to Camp 4.
For me it’s not so much that I never failed, but I don’t think I failed nearly enough. Oftentimes I would play it safe while picking which routes or boulder problems to try, always playing it on the safe side trying things that seemed well within reach. This works well enough in the short term, but long term I know it has limited the upside potential in my climbing. How can you really hope to truly push your limits if you are afraid of getting close to them?