So, ironically enough, as we speak i’m sitting in a lineup, on the side of the road, waiting for “the gate” to open (roads closed from avalanches). You gotta love technology–internet tethering off my iphone, giving me access to the net on my lap top, on the side of the road. Cool.
Anyways, the ironic part is that i had a crap day climbing, and now i’ve been given time to process it all…on the side of the road (and not whilst driving which is prolly safer). So, today there was an indoor dry-tooling comp in Canmore, Alberta. I’ve been goin to this thing off and on for several years. Some bouts have been good, others not so good. Today was one of those “not so good” bouts. Everything about my climbing today wasn’t climbing. I’m trying to figure out/analyze why. Thoughts: my onsight ability is still not good. And most likely one of the biggest things that’s holding me back in competition. Every comp that involves onsight, more often then not i make some sort of poor decision and that’s when things don’t go well. Today, a route that is pretty “easy”, although still required a bit of power and thought, shut me down today. Give me a second go on it and it would be a “cruizer”. But right there is what’s causing me to fall short. On the fly, in “onsight mode” my brain…it’s as if it becomes scattered. I’m not thinking right, i’m making mistakes. I need to be in a place where I can move on terrain for the first time, and be settled, yet confident. I need to practice utilizing the movement patterns that are stored in my head on unseen terrain. It’s like part of me is scared. As i write this, someone who has vested a lot of time, workin’ with me (which i’m so greatful for), just texted me and said, “it’s your onsight, i told you it’s weak. Training isn’t climbing”. And he’s right. I’m not climbing enough/and or working on onsighting enough. But the weird thing is, is that in the past he’s told me other things that were weak, and…eventually when he finally got through to me, i was able to work on “those things”, and improve. But, for some reason, getting better at onsighting is just not getting through to me. Is it a mental aspect that goes deeper then to what i’m acknowledging? I mean, the ability to onsight does take a lot of mental toughness…and of course experience but i haven’t processed the total importance of that yet. Maybe until today actually. Once again, a comp didn’t go well.
It’s funny, in my past, by now i would have given up on this. I would have been like, “can’t be done…i’m over it”. But, i can’t let this go. I need to figure out why i’m having such a hard time with learning to onsight, as well as allowing myself the opportunity to get better at it. Even as we speak, there’s a little part of me that’s getting fired up to dig deeper (Huh, this is a good thing, that my mental state is kinda changin from, “I’m an idiot” to “ok, so…we gotta figure this out…and try to improve). Over the last few years the amount i’ve learned in climbing is totally wild. It seems as though it’s taking a bit longer then I would like however. Maybe i’m not paying enough attention off the bat? Is there a reason why it takes me two or three times for something to sink in (and for me to actually accept and comprehend it)? Who knows. And i guess that’s a little frustrating too…always hard when you see other competitors pick things up fast. Whatever, this is clearly becoming a bit whine fest so perhaps i should end this note now.
I need to spend a lot more time onsighting and climbing (in the winter)…and i think today made that a lot clearer. Other things are in better shape then before, but this, onsighting, is something i need to truly commit to working on…a lot. And as i think more about it, i really haven’t spent a lot of time onsight climbing. And even with climbing in general…this season, i’ve climbed lots, but…on projects (which there’s no onsight involved) and on familiar routes (which again, no onsighting involved). It looks as though this factor is the common denominator to more comps then not, and even in my climbing in general. For some reason i’m hesitant to onsight routes. Scared. Probably. Well this is just BS. I gotta get over this if i want to progress in the competitive realm.
I need to spend less time thinking on this, and more time climbing/onsighting new/unfamiliar routes.