Tuesday, July 5, 2016

The iceberg illusion

(SPANISH version HERE)

The sweet taste of success is something we all like and enjoy, but knowing how to accept failure is far more complicated. Although they seem contrary concepts, they are actually complementary since no success can be achieved without failure. We know this theory but it’s not an easy task to put it into practice: why do we get frustrated whenever things don’t turn out as one would expect? This is, at least, how I’ve felt during the past few weeks when my vertical projects have been aborted.

Last year I was left with the desire to climb in Santa Linya. You know I have a lizard-like metabolism: the hotter it is, the more I enjoy trying hard routes. I wanted to attempt some projects in that area, but I realized too late that climbing is forbidden in the cave during Summer -that’s when I had planned my bid- due to the archaeological excavations that are carried there.

Source: http://desnivel.com/escalada-roca/un-ano-de-xesca
So this year I changed my schedule, and drew my rope in cold -for me- April, much earlier than usual. I was looking forward to trying a couple of routes, “Ciudad de Dios” and "Open your Mind Direct". Why these two? Maybe because I had seen videos and I had liked its lines and moves, but honestly I don’t really know. Or perhaps I thought my skills would fit them. But it turned out I was completely wrong in this last point. I was aware that these routes are powerful and require reachy moves, but I thought I would be capable to make them, especially since I had gained more strength thanks to Pedro Bergua’s trainings. Unfortunately, that was not the case. I kept trying with all my desire and determination for several weeks, but I finally had to give up and accept the fact that I wasn’t strong enough for this type of routes. It was not easy to assume. Feelings of frustration, incompetence as well as having thrown away the year’s training, flooded my thoughts for several days.

This is one of the key differences that set apart the good climbers from the rest. And that is why I have always included myself in the second group. It may seem that all climbers that can make high grades are "mutants", but nothing could be further from the truth. Undoubtedly there are “mutants” -people gifted for climbing- but there are also people like me, "ordinary climbers” that do not have special skills to climb, that have been capable to redpoint some difficult routes just because of the amount of time, effort and perseverance that we devote to this sport. For the "ordinary climbers” making hard grade simply looks like this:

Ultimately I decided to go to a different crag. And finally, thanks to Pedro’s advice, I have found one that motivates me more (because it is not so powerful) and where I have sent another 9a, "Kif kif Demain". But I leave that for the next post.