Opportunity lost?

Ok, so I’ve got all this focus on opportunities and how i’m not taking them on and how i’m trying to change that. yesterday was a huge disappointment for me in this area.  😦  i’m working on my mental approach with climbing and taking advantage of climbing opportunities. these opportunities are not ones like getting out to climb because that part is not the problem. the problem is more like when i am out to climb am i taking full advantage of the climbs available to me?  sometimes i go out and i won’t get on routes because i have some preconceived notion that i can’t climb it. sometimes i go and i’m just scared to climb something because i think i can’t climb it.  mostly i talk myself out of climbs before i even give myself the chance to try.  so, this mental thing i am working on has helped me to work myself out of that self talk. well, it isn’t perfect but it is working.  i have been fighting the urge to give up before i even get on a climb. sometimes the result of this work is amazing! i have gotten on routes that i would not otherwise have tried. sometimes, it’s painful and desperate climbing, but i’m giving things a go anyway just to try to break the habit. 
Another way that i sabatoge opportunities is on a climb and yesterday is a prime example.  we were out at an area called The Egg, which was the first time we were at this sector.  it was really beautiful (i took some video footage), but the rock was sharp. after a less than good warm up on the first climb, i could feel myself wanting to back out from climbing. i pushed myself through that and onto another climb that turned out to be less sharp and more enjoyable than the first. it helped my confidence that i got the onsight and felt relatively solid through the climbing. 
opportunities lost-0, taken-1.
there wasn’t much else for me to do, despite that mike had put draws on a 27 (12d). i opted out of that climb (damn self talk!). I hesitated but still consciously backed away from it.  
opportunities lost-1, taken-1.
A friend of ours, matt, was climbing on this line (a 28, so 13a) and he looked really good on it. at the last bolt to the chains he struggled through the last big move and failed to onsight the route.  it was an inspiring effort. mike got on it and flashed it easily.  they both claimed the route was easier than Mr. Magoo (a 27 that i am working on right now), but i didn’t want to believe them. after a minute of resoluteness, i heard myself say ‘i’ll get on it.’ i could feel all of that resistance coming up in me in full force, but after disappointment #1, i witnessed the objections and fear and stayed firm on my decision, anyway.
opportunities lost-1, taken-2.
i got on the climb and did really well for a first go. i got way above a bolt and was starting the crux sequence, which was at the next bolt. i couldn’t clip the bolt without starting this sequence and because i was onsighting this, i didn’t know what to do and was committing to a BIG move.  just in mid move, i see myself right at the draw on the bolt and without another hesitation, i grab the draw and clip. 😦 disappointment #2.  ok, so maybe i would have taken the big fall, maybe not. but, now i will never know if i would have made that move and possibly made the upper cruxy section on the route. i may not have, but i missed my opportunity to know.
opportunities lost-2, taken-2.
I was about to give up on a 2nd go, kind of knowing that i wouldn’t send it (what kind of self talk is that!?)
opportunities lost-3, taken-2.
BUT, because i recognized that i was talking myself out of it, i decided i’d better get on it anyway. start to break the habit.
opportunities lost-3, taken-3.
I didn’t send the route. in fact, i fell just into the long run out (moved a foot up too soon and the sun was on the route making the slopey hold less than grippy).  i dogged my way up the last bit, which felt hard, but good because i was able to sort out some sequences that could help me should i ever make it back to this crag for another attempt.  🙂
so, after writing this blog, i realize yesterday wasn’t a huge disappointment afterall. i think with the opportunities scoring, i was able to see that despite the struggles, i actually made good progress. in the end, it looks like i evened things out.  🙂 now, i don’t feel so disappointed in my performance and the whole grabbing the draw thing, which is what i had been focusing on up until this point.  Hah! thanks for listening, readers.   i wasn’t expecting an outcome like this when i started writing this entry.

About Audrey Sniezek

Audrey Sniezek is a rock climbing athlete and computer software/technology enthusiast.
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1 Response to Opportunity lost?

  1. John says:

    Sounds like you are doing well, but don\’t be so hard on your scoring.  It sounds as if at least two of your three "lost" cases were actually hesitations that you then took. so I\’d count those as definitely in the taken column.  The end result of having doubts and acting anyway is the same as if you acted without doubt, and that will help build the muscle of taking action, and the doubts will slowly fade.

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