I think it’s so easy to fall into a competitive mindset with climbing. The type of mindset where your success can only occur at someone else’s expense.
It’s easy to talk about it from the outside. For example, on Thursday, I heard the climbing team captain telling one of the new girls that her goal at the next Triple Crown event should be to beat this other girl on the team (who wasn’t present at that time). And I said, well, maybe that isn’t such a great goal because the only way you can achieve it is if she fails. Maybe your first goal should be to finish 10 climbs. And then the next goal up from that should be to place in beginner. And after that to win beginner. The girl agreed with me that this was a better set of goals to make.
But when looking inward, it’s hard to have that same objective outlook. I start to feel bad about my own climbing if so and so is looking stronger than me. Or if what’s-her-face is sending harder than me. I think, I wish I were a couple inches taller. I wish my hands were a little bigger so I could hold pinches better. I wish this and I wish that. And you know what all this wishful thinking accomplishes?
What is in my control? My climbing. What is not in my control? Their climbing. So how are the two even comparable? Unless I’m entered into an actual competition, who gives a shit?
I need to remember that climbing is a personal sport. I do with it what I want to do with it. I have to accept my height, my current living situation, my schedule that only allows for so much training. I need to get over the fact that none of it is ideal. And I need to realize that things are never going to be ideal. I can’t sit around wishing for one thing or another, because in reality, I will keep sitting around wishing forever. No other climber is me. I am not any other climber. I need to focus on myself in this sport and not base my success on other people’s successes or failures. My success will stem from what I define as my own success.
My definition of success for tomorrow is to go out to the parkway, touch some real rock regardless of how “quality” or not it is. Enjoy some time being outside. Appreciate Fall. Take a deep breath, and chill out. Then make some goals for myself that involve only myself, and get after them.