Any climbing situation has two forces at work: constant change and movement toward balance. The change comes from exerting effort as you climb into new positions. The movement toward balance occurs as you adjust to each new position. Change is stressful, whereas balance is comfortable. Efficient climbing movement, essentially, is your skillful blending of these two forces, moving in a balanced way through change.
Balanced movement means your climbing has a high degree of quality. Quality gives beauty to your effort. It makes your climbing look more like a dance or work of art than a struggle. It also makes it feel more that way.
We’ve discussed the skill set of doing and the skill of moving. Now let’s see how momentum and the moment help create quality. It will be helpful to define these terms.
Moment: A moment is an infinitely small segment of time. It is the present, or now, without past or future. Past and future exist only in our thinking mind. When we stop thinking, we allow our minds to be fully in the now. This adds quality to our attention: it will be focused 100-percent on observing. Moment, then, is the quality of our attention to be present and is dependent on how well we execute the doing skill set.
Momentum: For our purposes, momentum is the quality of motion of a moving body that allows it to continue moving. In other words, as opposed to dead-end types of movement, momentum is a quality of movement that assists continued movement. That quality will be dependent on how well we execute the skill of moving.
Momentum and moment come from the same Latin root. They are intertwined and two parts of the same phenomenon. Quality attention in the moment allows individual movements to flow together to create momentum.
In action, you commit to climbing along the path of least resistance. Momentum helps propel you along that path and keeps the mind from shifting back to thinking and creating doubts. The more you improve your ability to direct and redirect attention, the more quality and momentum you will experience as you climb.