Life imitating art

It was one of those sends, the ones where it feels like a number of elements in your life come together and are expressed in those moments.

The whole week I had been sure I would get the send.  It is the first time that hasn’t freaked me out, that the excitement of it hasn’t made the moment too big for me.  I’m past that now. 

I had been frustratingly sick the two weeks prior.  It had slowed progress.  But perhaps that was a good thing.  Perhaps it created the perfect timing for the perfect send.  In those two weeks time had been marching on, closer to the Festival.

The Festival was starting to keep me awake.  Out of excitement and nerves. It was an event I was organising, one that I had wanted to create for the last few years.  One day, I had decided the time was right and cheekily started to tell people it was going to happen. In the back of my mind there was a little timid voice screaming “what are you doing?  Do you know what you are taking on?”  But before I knew it, the festival had taken on a life of it’s own.  Magazines and online media were contacting me, hungry for details of this great festival.  And soon I knew I would have to put my money where my mouth was.  And why not?   Without having discussed it with my boss or business partners, I had drawn my company into this merry whirlwind and they had to follow my lead.

And in that process I had learned to believe my own hype.  As I had experienced so often in climbing, if you wanted something to happen badly enough then your want overcame any fear or doubts.  And in this space it had drawn out the utter belief and support of my partner and my boss.  It’s hard to doubt yourself in the face of that kind of belief.

And so that is how I found myself striding up to the Tower of Power with unshakeable belief.  I was finally healthy enough to power through that crux.  I knew I had the strength, the core and the ability.  Nothing was going to stop me, not even the dyno*.

And even though it felt like a bit of an anti-climax gettinng to the chains because I knew so deeply that I was going to get it, it will go down as one of my more memorable sends.  I have rarely been so focused, so calm and so confident on a route that is near my upper grade.  There has always been that tiny voice of doubt.  But she seems to have moved on now, or rather fallen behind.  

*I’ve often been heard saying “say no to dynos.”  This was the first dyno I had ever excecuted on a route.

By illonapelser

When it counts

What is mental toughness?  Is it in the moment, when you’re bearing down on small holds, led out from your last bolt, desperately trying to onsight?  Is it still keeping your eye on the rather distant goal even though you stumbled on the first step?  Is it keeping a good sense of humour even after it seriously hasn’t gone your way?  Is it enjoying what you can out of the journey, when the destination keeps moving further away?  How about keeping your head in the game when yet another foot/hand grip breaks on you after 7 hours on the wall?  And returning the next day and the next for the same punishment?


This rock is anything but solid

This weekend started out for a goal.  But I relished every step of the journey, the challenges it presented, the lessons I learned and the mental toughness I got to witness.  It was quite an education. 

By illonapelser