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By zenetopia
Dec 6, 2012

In the season of 2012 i had had a goal to redpoint 31 5.12's before i turned 31. I 'failed' miserably (6/31) but also gained a lot by learning a massive amount about myself, what worked, what didn't & most importantly, about perseverance & never giving up on that which you want (i also learned quite a bit about reality). In the 2013 season, i challenge you to look at your failures of 2012 (climbing related or not)& face them down & overcome them; to not allow them to remain 'failures'. For me, i will be compiling a list of lines that i think i should have been able to send, but kicked my ass instead, & send those routes in 2013, giving myself the same deadline as 'project 31 (sept 6th). (For those interested, in the near future, check out www.zenetopiaclimbing.blogspot.com for writings on training/progress & photos of my attempts at facing down my failures.) Keep us posted on your ideas & goals, & future successes.


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By Christian
From Casa do Cacete
Dec 6, 2012
Ooops...

“If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans.” ― Woody Allen


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By zenetopia
Dec 6, 2012

“If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans.” ― Woody Allen

i expect responses like this... although it is a great quote, funny...still....good luck with any & all who want to take the self-challenge...Good luck to those who don't...


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By KDog
Dec 6, 2012

i challenge you to look at your failures of 2012 (climbing related or not)& face them down & overcome them; to not allow them to remain 'failures'.

I appreciate this right now in more of a general-life sense! It's been an incredibly tough year with struggles galore in many aspects of my life. Recognizing those struggles and chipping away at them, little by little, is a big accomplishment----both within climbing and in life outside of that bubble. They aren't failures but progress, even when it seems like nothing is changing.

I hope 2013 is full of positive progress in whatever one's 'goal' is :-)

Thanks for sharing.


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By A.Javi.Gecko
From San Diego, CA
Dec 6, 2012
V3, Castle Hill, NZ

to add another trite (but true) phrase:

you only fail once you quit.

trying, losing, and trying again is what keeps up the progression to greatness. Plus, we admire far more people who have overcome obstacles than those who were gifted without trying. If its too easy, it wouldn't be an accomplishment; its all in the attitude and the effort.

Definitely rings true for my 2012 experience. Here's to aspiration and any pursuit towards being a better person (however you define it)


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By Gunkiemike
Dec 6, 2012

I was hoping for another funny video about newbies rappelling Aussie style.


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By bearbreeder
Dec 6, 2012

better to try and fail ... than never try and never succeed ...

plenty of climbers out there who will say "oh i cant do this or that so i wont even try"

of course it IS better to try and succeed ... but anyone who succeeds without failure is either the luckiest bastard in the world, hasnt tried hard enough, or an intrawebs tough guy ;)


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By Tom Mulholland
From #1 Cheese Producing State!
Dec 6, 2012
Whiskey-a-Go-Go

zenetopia wrote:
I 'failed' miserably (6/31)

Just out of curiosity, how many routes did you attempt?


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By Will S
From Joshua Tree
Dec 6, 2012

I'm one of those dudes that told you when you posted up the original thing that it was highly unlikely and gave the reasons why. I also offered some things that might help (i.e. concentrate on American Fork).

I'm not here to be an "I told you so" jerk, I'm here to tell you that it's part of the process.

I failed on tons of stuff this year. And I expected to. There were successes in there as well, and measured by my past climbing, I was stronger than ever and was able to do or repeat things I'd done in the past with ease. But I set the bar higher, and the failure is what I focused on. Not to dwell on the negative, but to embrace that part of the process.

Being able to fail and feel like it was positive because it was an integral step, instead of getting frustrated or depressed was a tough change for me. For anything that is legitimately hard for you, failure is an integral part of the path to success. I've always been more of a "give it a few tries and if I can't do it, get stronger and come back next season" type, but have transitioned to a more long-term projecting approach as I try to do some things at my limit before I hang up the hard climbing and shuffle off into middle-age dufferdom.

But while failure in pursuit of goals is crucial, so is recognizing reality. Setting appropriate goals is critical. Aim too high and you are constantly in a failure mode with no "reward" of success. Aim too low and the accomplishments feel empty because they didn't take work or create emotional drama. Did you ever write up an analysis of why you failed on the big goal? It would probably be very helpful to you in the next round.

Writing things down, sort of like a root-cause analysis, is a powerful tool. It's like a pro-con list when decision making, or a weighted matrix, or even writing down the goals/objectives themselves. Putting it on paper/pixels can really help clarify your thinking and bring out some honest assessment, detach the vagueness or excuse making we do and really make it concrete.

Good luck.


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By zenetopia
Dec 6, 2012

"Just out of curiosity, how many routes did you attempt?"

Don't have an exact figure, but it was a lot while at the same time, not enough.

There are multiple reasons for me not meeting the big goal (time was one of them, as Will S originally said, along with me never being on a .12 before), but i did get 6... i set the bar far too high & too unrealistically...but, right out of rehab...that, in the back of my mind, was the point. To fail, & fail hard...soberly. Realistic goals are just as important as goals themselves & how you deal with failure...I agree with you totally, Will.


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By Guy Keesee
From Moorpark, CA
Dec 6, 2012
Big Boulder, just a bit downhill from Temple of Kali. Alabama Hills, CA.

Goals are meant to be broken.....

I think as long as your still alive, in climbing, you have not failed.

just have fun.


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By bearbreeder
Dec 6, 2012

zenetopia wrote:
"Just out of curiosity, how many routes did you attempt?" Don't have an exact figure, but it was a lot while at the same time, not enough. There are multiple reasons for me not meeting the big goal (time was one of them, as Will S originally said, along with me never being on a .12 before), but i did get 6... i set the bar far too high & too unrealistically...but, right out of rehab...that, in the back of my mind, was the point. To fail, & fail hard...soberly. Realistic goals are just as important as goals themselves & how you deal with failure...I agree with you totally, Will.


so you attempted something, failed ... but in the end you redpointed 6 5.12s never having been on a 5.12 before

youre likely trying harder, failing more, but in the end redpointing more "5.12"s in a short period than most of the armchair intraweb critics ...

theres a certain type of "climber" out there who are too afraid to do what they want, so not only do they make excuses, they also tell other climbers what they can or cant do ,... or what they should even try ,..

if you want to do it ... go for it ... as long as you arent putting others in danger ... and bragging about it all over the place of course ;)


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By kenr
Dec 6, 2012

My biggest failure of the year was taking a leader fall and getting hurt (severel strained my right calf muscle by nicking my toe/ball on something). I had always believed that getting even a minor injury in climbing was just not worth it. After being out from climbing for almost five weeks, and almost wrecking a big trip, I was even more convinced.

The reason was fundamentally arrogance. I came away with writing down some key lessons, worked very hard on my rehab -- which did save my big trip, and then enabled me to do my hardest Sport leads and following pitches ever. Then a couple of months later I found that I had re-injured my calf muscle in an unexpected way (near as I can tell it was from doing Trad leading two days in a row) - so I guess I hadn't done my rehab fully seriously.

Now in thinking about responding to this discussion, it hits me that there were two of those carefully-written "key lessons" about Leading procedures which I had not implemented at all (? a Lesson about lessons ?)
_________________________

With my injury and lots of wet weather, I had lots of time to work intensely on finger strength, and I made substantial measurable gains in that. And when I took that new strength to outdoor rock, I indeed succeeded on some slightly higher-number routes than before. But also failed on some others, and failed still on a few that at lower number-grades where I somehow feel that I ought to be "solid" on.

Which led to the "lesson" that there's more to climbing than finger strength. More ... ?
like Arm-strength and big dynamic deadpoints (something I now have all winter long to practice in the gym). And seeing footwork more quickly (Except for a freak warm day, that'll have to wait). And generally needing just lots more confidence and experience on harder outdoor routes for my brain to be allow me to really use the strength and footwork that I've already got.

Why didn't I succeed in my goal of climbing my first outdoor 5.10d or euro 6c? One reason is because I didn't try more than one or two of each - (tho I did get all the moves on several indoor 5.11s and one indoor euro 6c). Because I don't have outdoor partners who push me on that. And the bigger fundamental problem that I'm just having too much fun on easier routes.

Some expert coaches say "fear of falling" is the deepest obstacle to climbing harder. But not for me (so far). I did lots of indoor practice falls. I even actually did fall out on real rock. Then after I recovered I soon climbed even harder difficulty.

My deepest lesson from 2012: I'm having too much fun on easier routes, and with partners who are having fun on easier routes. I think I've got some approaches for 2013 for that obstacle.

Ken


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By Johnny All
Dec 6, 2012

My lesson from 2012 for me personally is have fun climbing, don't try to go balls out and prove something. Just enjoy what you can do!


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By Jason N.
From Grand Junction
Dec 6, 2012
Indy pass

Will S wrote:
shuffle off into middle-age dufferdom.


What age do most people see a decline in climbing ability?


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By A.Javi.Gecko
From San Diego, CA
Dec 6, 2012
V3, Castle Hill, NZ

John Marsella wrote:
Not saying you can't recalibrate your goals and attain those different goals; but saying failure only follows quitting is a bit simplistic.


Guess I was (too) SIMPLY supporting an ego-wounded comrade because setting ambitious goals is a way to find some awesome adventures (or follow the old MP adage of 'yer gon' die'). Maybe i should have said "ULTIMATE failure follows quitting??"

But let's not hijack a positive thread by bickering...

shoot for the moon, if nothing else you'll just land amongst the stars.

lets hope I don't logic-slapped for that one.


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By Eric Engberg
Dec 6, 2012

Gunkiemike wrote:
I was hoping for another funny video about newbies rappelling Aussie style.



Me too - but instead I find myself drowning in a sea of sappy cliches. Oh well - at least no one has spouted out with - "The best climber is the one who..." - yet.


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By Mike-R
From springfield, Mo
Dec 6, 2012
bouldering

2012 was not my best year of climbing. My failure's really weighed me down. It wasn't until once of my friends say to me "you didn't get it, but dam you gave it your all and never gave up" that I saw that I was trying something that was way over my ability, but despite this I tried it anyway. This is more then most climbers are willing to do. I now look at my climbing failures as success it terms of the mental and physical effort I gave in hopes that it will inspire me to get back on the rock and try again.


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By flynn
Dec 7, 2012

Trust the process. Failure is a part of any process, and it's only a real failure if you don't learn from it. Climb long enough, and you'll have all kinds of failures. But they'll be outnumbered by the successes and the "This is why I do this" days.

Good on ya for having that goal. So it's harder than you thought it would be. Show me a musician who hasn't gotten their ass kicked by a seemingly innocuous piece. If they eventually performed it, it's because they worked themselves silly to learn it.

And by the way, "should" might be the most dangerous word out there. Why "should" you have been able to climb something you didn't? According to whom?

You've learned a huge number of uber-important lessons. All you 'need' to do now is apply them. You'll achieve your goal.


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By Greg D
From Here
Dec 7, 2012
Out of the blue.  Photo by Mike W. <br />

Consider 30 visits to a seniors home
30 shelter dog walks
30 days working at the soup kitchen
30 days mentoring a child

A lot can come out of 30.
30 13's? Does anyone really care?


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By Spam
Dec 7, 2012

It sucks to be you man


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By camhead
From Vandalia, Appalachia
Dec 7, 2012
You stay away from mah pig!

Ahh... I love year-end climbing reports. To the original poster, good work on getting 6 5.12s, seriously. But, I agree with what Will S. said upthread, that you pretty obviously set a goal that was too high.

I'm going to go out on a limb and pass some armchair judgement now... when you set goals too high, you really don't learn anything. I'm not sure what the OP's thoughts are, but it feels worse, and thus may motivate you to try harder, when you almost meet your goals. Getting 6 out of a prospective 31 routes is an undeniable shut-down; there is probably no regret or doubt in your mind where you are like, "damn, I ALMOST had it!" I teach college, so I'm thinking of it as a low, unredeemable F, rather than an almost-passed, 59%-type F.

If you had set the goal of 8 or 10 5.12s, would you have been more motivated, more psyched, and maybe put more energy into this? I dunno. Most 12a climbers that I know try way harder when they are projecting a 12b than when they are projecting a 13a, because they actually know that a send is possible. Similarly, I know several people who consistently project routes that they are never in any danger of sending, because it is easier on one's ego for a 12a climber to fail on a 13a than to admit to oneself and to the rest of the climbing community that you are actually a 12b redpointer.

Sorry to sound like a dick, but setting unrealistic goals is just something to think about.

As for my climbing season:
Unremarkable. Got back to Wingate cracks for the first time in 5 years, which was amazing even though it was in the middle of the summer, and I found that my increased sport fitness easily tranfered over to my first love, pure jamming. Did some FAs, and some of my hardest trad onsights to date.

This fall was kind of a dud, especially while we are talking about setting goals too high. Despite swearing to myself that I would stop sport prodging, I got on a route that was beautiful, and which immediately drew me in (Dial 911 at the NRG). I had a couple friends send it, and before I knew it, I was the last one in our crew that was still working on it. The last two weekends of projecting it, I was easily getting up to the redpoint crux and then just fucking up and psyching myself out. But by this point, I had invested so much into it (like a shitty car, or a bad mortgage), that I could not walk away, even though it was clearly over my head.

Eventually, I stuck the crux and got the send, and it felt easy at the time. But, upon clipping the anchors, I just felt empty and shallow. Did I really "master" the route if it took me 18 goes or whatever? Now, as winter sets in, and I sit around with a broken foot and getting fat, I look back on the season and wish I had spent more days exploring, getting mileage, climbing trad, onsighting, and trying new routes. Instead, I look back on 5 weekend in a row of walking to the same chunk of rock at the same crag.

Ok, that's all, end of rant.


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By slim
Administrator
Dec 7, 2012
tomato, tomotto, kill mike amato.

i know what you mean. sometimes when you send, you just feel relieved, not happy.

to OP - maybe make this years goal to send 30 routes 11c or harder - with maybe 10 of each (11c, 11d, 12a).


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By Joseph DeGaetano
From Fayetteville, WV
Dec 7, 2012
STOP your bitching, NRG

As Camhead said, I too love End of the Year threads. By the way, Dr. Camhead did master that rig. With his super high percentage heel hooking magic beta, he dumbed down moves so that they were trivial and 100%. Where as I was constantly fighting to make moves even on my RP burn.

I'm still not too sure how to sum up my season. In some ways I think I had a good season for someone with two young kids trying to figure out how to manage/juggle my climbing life and family life, all the while facing down the realities of my ever aging 34 year old body.

After all, I managed 5 5.13s, I think. Maybe it was only 4. Who knows? You can see how much I really care. I did a bunch of other routes that were all pretty hard for me in the 12 and 11+ range. Some of those were proud (for me) onsights. I also managed nearly 100 new routes this year. Not nearly as many as years past, but not too shabby for a working dad with a broken body. Two trips to the RRG this year and one to Laurel Knob just barely satisfied my appetite for climbing road trips. Luckily, all three of those trips were good ones that taught me valuable lessons that I need to always keep close to my heart. Onsighting and exploring new routes are my greatest loves in climbing. Big traditional routes with friends are the greatest adventures in rock climbing. Rock climbing can be very dangerous. Negotiating and mitigating those risks are crucial. I don't want to get hurt, or worse die.

However, as I sit here at the end of 2012 with a shoulder that can't even manage 10 pull ups, I wonder and question was my season really successful. In all reality and as sad as it may seem, I've climbed less than 10 routes in over 5 weeks. I've spent just about every minute of my free time the past 2 weeks sulking over a rotator cuff injury by watching the entire first 4 seasons of Breaking Bad while driking way too many feel sorry for myself/mid life crisis/fuck my life beers all the while eating an exhorbitant amount of junk food. That's approximately 2444 minutes of Breaking Bad (I just did the math) in less than 2 weeks. Pathetic. My wife is pissed, my kids (although too young to realize it) have been neglected. All because of my stupid addiction to climbing/athletic prowess.

Where does all this dribble lead me (and you) you might ask? Well... as I sit here sharing my personal thoughts (and wasting time at work) with the world, I wonder if all the excessive amount (to a normal person) of climbing I've done has permanently ruined my shoulder? I wonder if I've wasted precious time away from my family that I will never be able to get back? I am torn between the notion of summarizing my season as a success when the outcome of the season has been so detrimental to my mental psyche. Could I have done less climbing this year and not cared about how good of shape I was in and spent more time just enjoying easier climbing with my friends and family? Could I have skipped some of my precious weekends when I was hell bent on sending and instead gone for a quick bike ride and spent the rest of the day doing a family picnic? Maybe I could have organized my climbing year around 5 long weekend trips to different areas concentrating on big adventure (hiking, camping, multipitch climbing)? All these questions and thoughts make me ponder the possibiltiy that I might not be injured and might have found more success in my year if I wasn't so focused on performance.

With that said, I'm sorry for subjecting anyone reading this to my personal thoughts and general mindfuck right now. I know I'll never not climb. I'm a lifer and will hack away at it for life. Whether it be peak bagging in the Rockies, long ridge runs in the Sierras, tweaky crimpfests and thug hauls here at home in the NRG, I'll continue to play on rocks. BUT, just maybe, this year of 2013 I won't let it consume my life and instead I will let it enhance my life. It's been said many times before, in many different ways, there are many trails that lead to the summit; its worth exploring them all.


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By MTKirk
From Billings, MT
Dec 7, 2012
Me on Supercrack

Just noticed it today, I have a jacket with one of the insulating baffles completely flat! It appears I am facing down failure as well. Has anyone come up with a solution to this problem, maybe add more feathers to the coat?


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By camhead
From Vandalia, Appalachia
Dec 7, 2012
You stay away from mah pig!

MTKirk wrote:
Just noticed it today, I have a jacket with one of the insulating baffles completely flat! It appears I am facing down failure as well. Has anyone come up with a solution to this problem, maybe add more feathers to the coat?


You may want to go in and get that jacket checked out. Have them look at the 23rd chromosome in particular; sounds like it may have down syndrome.


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