Stubbornness, It Gets The Job Done

One month ago, I spent a morning doing this, over and over:

I must have jumped and failed 20 times that morning. I probably jumped and failed 20 more times both before and after that morning.

I refuse to admit defeat, so I kept at it. I thought about what I could be doing differently. Jump harder? Pull up more? Pull in? I was so close. All I needed was another couple inches to wrap my hand around the hold. I climbed it in reverse a few times just to get a feel for the body position.

I knew I could do it. I just had to do it before they refreshed the problems.

I watched many try and fail. I watched a couple succeed. They were just… stronger. Quite simply, they could jump higher.

I could be stronger too. But I also knew I could find an extra couple inches with technique. I just didn’t have that technique yet.

Last weekend, I watched a high school kid do the jump. He was super excited about having just figured it out, and was practicing it over and over.

His jump had a weird kink in it. What was that?

It got me thinking. Perhaps a single leap wasn’t what I needed. Maybe I needed to push with my feet, pull up and in with my arms, and then finish the move by pushing up with my left arm.

Three attempts later, I got my hand around the hold and hung on to finish.

Success! Joy! Relief.

Climbing has been a fantastic exercise in grit and deliberate practice.


  1. *insert obvious lame joke about there most likely being stairs around the back*
    *realizes that it’s probably a good thing I’m all the way over here at the moment*

    In other news: Holy arms and shoulders, Soopahviv!

    • There actually *are* stairs in the back of many bouldering walls. The walls at this gym top out at 10 or 12 feet (I can’t remember which), so here we just downclimb or jump off.

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