I decided that it is less important to hit higher and higher grades and focused more on improving my technique, strength and endurance. It is as if I have changed my why (thank you Simon Sinek) from climbing higher grades, to improving my experience at the gym.
I also learned to better manage my fear of taking a fall and instead of focusing on the risk of falling, focused more on the consequences of it, which in a climbing gym are next to none. I have Alex Honnold (2:28 mark) to thank for this. His comments around Risk vs Consequence have resonated well with me.
Celebrating little wins was another small change with a big impact. It is easy to not take note of a small win, or a short advance you have made towards your goal, but I believe it is important to pat yourself on the back and acknowledge your success no matter how insignificant. This plays well into my final point which is around managing failure. It is far too easy to take a fall and curse yourself and everything else around on the way down, however, it is much harder to acknowledge the failure, put it in the ‘valuable experience’ bucket and try again with an ‘I will do this’ mindset.
The ‘I will do this’ is the new mindset I was talking about. It allowed me to climb swiftly and confidently, conserve energy, always have the next target in the crosshairs, and not allow failure to result in frustration. For me, it required all the four changes to have been made before I could embrace this mindset. I do wonder what will it require for you.
What is next? Well, I have a ridiculous goal now 😊; to climb a route that seems exciting enough and it just happens to be a grade 25 project. I have never done anything above 24 but I am trying – above picture – this grade 25 for fun.