So far we’ve seen the importance of resistance in applying power. Without resistance there is no need to apply power. We’ve also shifted our understanding of stress, seeing it as opportunities for learning. We’ve determined the importance of having an internal locus of control so attention is focused on what we can control. And, we’ve released our power by being decisive, cutting off all options except climbing. Now, we need to address how power can diminish by over-valuing the end result.
Does the end justify the means: sending the route is more important than climbing? Or, are the means an end in itself: the process of climbing is most important? Recall that this is not an either/or choice, but rather we need to identify what is most important. End goals are important because they give us vision to direct our efforts. Once end goals are set, however, all attention must be applied to the means, the enjoyment of the climbing itself.
When sending is most important, we look for the quickest way to arrive there. We’ll use tricks and tactics that avoid learning and get frustrated when we don’t make progress as quickly as we expect. Rather, we must slow down our minds, be present for the stress, learn from it, and even enjoy it. By slowing down we pay attention to our process, bring quality to our effort, and speed our learning.
I went through a long learning process on Gilgamesh. Over 12 visits I learned the exact pro placements, stopping points for placing protection, and climbing sequences. There is no way to rush the learning process. Taking a slower approach allowed me to learn each part at deeper, more subtle levels.
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A little unrelated story about a case of mistaken identity:
We were at the crag the other day. My wife was working a long-term project and my daughter sitting reading. Every time Janey reached her high point, she complained, “That hold is hopeless”.
Eventually I said, “Remember what Arno says, “Don’t look for 100%, just use it and move on””.
My daughter looked up from her book and said, “You know what else he says?”
“I’ll be back!”
“When sending is most important, we look for the quickest way to arrive there. We’ll use tricks and tactics that avoid learning.” This needs repeating.
Making moves that work only because they work is not learning. There has to be a variation for the selection to work on. That is a law of nature. And that variation comes from a willingness to risk the send for a chance to do something that might and might not work. There is no other way.
Nice comment Marta. We must modify to learn as you state so well.