Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Home Again

I'm home a couple of days early, and, for now, I'm happy to be among friends and family. Soon enough I will be missing the cool air, afternoon thunderstorms, laughter and friendships this summer has provided. I have been gone for over 2 months, making this trip, by far, my longest. It was also my most productive. I climbed 26 double-digit problems and countless others. Strangely, my success has inspired a lot of thought about failure.

I hate failure, the mental torture it provokes, the self-questioning. Before climbing on a project or before a flash attempt I often experience a kind of performance anxiety. I find myself thinking, "I really don't want to fall," rather than, "I'm going to try my hardest." I have come to understand, though, that progress can only be made through failure. Those rare successes merely bolster confidence, making future failure tolerable.

I have witnessed many impressive failures this summer. I have failed countless times myself. These failures, and the incredible climbs which produce them, serve as my inspiration. This is why I train, this is why I try hard. It seems that those of us rock climbers who can tolerate the greatest failures achieve the greatest successes.

As for me, I finished up my season in Rock Mountain National Park climbing Bush Pilot (v11), Sunspot (v10) and Riddles in the Park (v12), three problems on my list from the start. I'm psyched!

This summer has been great. Thanks to my parents and my girl for helping me get there and back (literally)!