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clee03m


Feb 20, 2009, 4:03 PM
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ego and climbing shouldn't mix
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Last week, a guy asked why I am practicing a two handed dynos. Wasn't I a trad climber anyways? I felt like I was somehow voted off the sport climbing island due to my difficulty climbing steep sport climbs.

Then a few days ago, a guy at the gym complimented me on making a great transition from the gym to outside. The only problem is that I have been climbing for over 6 years and I have only climbed at this gym for little over a year.

Yesterday, one of my partners tells me that we should really find a 4th girl to even out the levels for our upcoming Red Rocks trip. Not someone my level, but a girl.

I realize that ego and climbing should not mix. Yes, I am suppose to climb for myself and not care what anyone thinks. But my ego has had a hard few weeks. *sigh*


lena_chita
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Feb 20, 2009, 5:27 PM
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Re: [clee03m] ego and climbing shouldn't mix [In reply to]
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Ouch, sorry! Comments like that would make anyone's ego have a hard week.

You should have told that guy who made a 'trad climber' comment that you regularly dyno 20 feet above your last piece of gear, and if he thinks that dynos are only for sport climbers, he needs to grow some... Tongue


tigerlilly


Feb 20, 2009, 5:34 PM
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Re: [clee03m] ego and climbing shouldn't mix [In reply to]
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It took me a couple years of counseling to learn this, but it was one of the better lessons I learned and has brought me a lot of peace of mind. I have no idea if I'll be able to relay the concept, but I'll try.

Learn to separate your shit from everyone else's shit.

Don't take everything everyone else says to heart. Listen to it and ask yourself, "why did that person say that? Is it something I really did/said, or is that their shit projecting on me?" And then ask yourself, why does that make me feel bad?

A lot of times, insecure people will say hurtful things, and it really isn't about you. It's their own fragile ego showing through. The ignorant simply stick their feet in their mouths with amazing dexterity (#2?). Learn to spot it and not to let them push your buttons (i.e. tweak your own insecurities - admit it, we all have 'em Crazy) Usually, when something affects us, it's because the other person has touched on one of our own vulnerabilities. Sounds like this has happened to you, since you feel your ego has taken a beating.

None of what you wrote sounds like your shit. It doesn't sound like you did or said anything wrong. So write it off. It sounds like either ignorance (1&2, maybe 3) or insecurity (3?) on the part of others and not about you. I know it's a lot easier to say than to do, but it gets easier with practice. It definitely sounds like these comments tweaked you, so ask yourself why do the first two ignorant oafs' opinions mean anything to you anyway? I won't comment on the 3rd one since I don't know enough of the story. It does sound like you are very sensitive to any suggestion that you aren't good enough as a climber. Ask yourself why.

The flip side is being honest with yourself when you really have done or said something to hurt, offend, or project your own insecurities on others and to own up to it. Buck up and either appologize or modify your own behavior as needed.

I don't know if any of this makes sense - I'm an engineer, not a psychologist, and I can't think of any good books to recommend. Like I said, I learned a lot truely useful stuff in two years of marriage counseling that has helped me remain centered and honest with myself. My feelings don't get hurt near as much as they used to, either.

Kathy


(This post was edited by tigerlilly on Feb 20, 2009, 5:52 PM)


zenelky


Feb 23, 2009, 9:38 AM
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Re: [clee03m] ego and climbing shouldn't mix [In reply to]
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You are not alone chica! Ego has had a few hard years on me. I am finding that taking time off to refind myself is helping a lot. I know this isn't good for everyone, but your comments are eerily similar to mine.

About 2 years ago, while climbing inside, a girl (not a climber) made a comment to me that I was almost as good as "Joe" at the gym. This really hurt my feelings because "Joe" is 6'3", I'm only 5'2" and I had climbed with "Joe" outside therefore knew that he was too scared to lead or even climb routes that were technically difficult. I had also just red-pointed my first hard 12 so my ego wa fully bloated when the comment was made. This comment made me feel like most people around me viewed me as inferior although I knew that I was not. I would say shrug it off, but it's not that easy.

You're also not the only one who has been voted off the sport (or bouldering) island. People never ask me for my beta on a route and when they do, and I give it to them, they tell me that I can only do something that particular way because I have 'little' fingers. Very rarely did I ever hear, "you can do it that way because you're stronger than I am". Sucks, but I always felt short changed. I would have to make a lot larger move or use crappier feet, hands, etc and felt that I climbed harder than my compadres in order to overcome for my lack of stature but still those who could climb a grade harder in a book still got more respect.

For me, it has become a long hard road to accept that the grades in books are nothing more than numbers on a page. They were created so that new climbers wouldn't get in over their heads and have been transformed into a bar that we try to hold ourselves against. They are not though, they are still only numbers in a book to prevent people from getting in over their heads.

I don't know how to get rid of your ego. I wish I knew how because I really miss climbing, but I know that I am not ready for the tests that people have waiting for me. I have found that climbing with people who you have a mutual respect for helps a lot. It only takes 1 comment to set you back down the ego spiral.

I would say that the first step is trying to figure out why these things hurt you. For me, it was because I felt that I was not being respected equally. This translated into my climbing from other aspects of my life that needed to be correct first. Good luck and stay focused!


acacongua


Feb 24, 2009, 7:02 AM
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TigerLilly speaks the truth and it really is the best to tame your ego: realize that other people have their own egos at the forefront. Or it's just ignorance. And some guys still take the pull-your-pigtails approach to letting you know he likes you (except of pulling the tails, he just insults you).

The ego is a tricky, tricky animal because it hates vulnerability and it comes into play when you don't realize it.


wonderwoman


Feb 24, 2009, 9:13 AM
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That stuff is so hard, yet so important, to ignore. Women are still a minority in this sport. The best thing we can do when encountering with someone who has ill-conceived notions about our climbing ability is to prove them wrong by climbing hard, and more importantly, enjoying our climbing.

It used to drive me crazy someone would recommend a route to me and my husband while looking at me and saying 'There is even a nice 5.6 pitch that you can do'. Or when my husband would get credit for my send or people made the assumption that he put the rope up for me. Now I just quietly smirk when my husband says to them 'No, you'll have to ask Tiff about that climb. She's the one who lead it.'

Or once, there was a group of people watching me lead a tough climb in the gym that I was taking big falls on. I hear one of them say 'You know, some of the women in here climb more like men than the men do'. I didn't let it get to me. But instead I thought, 'Yeah, like you could even top-rope this, pal,' and continued to make my way to the top. But really - what an insecure jerk for saying something like that! His problem - not mine.

I admit, that it is aggravating to be the target of disparaging comments or have people make assumptions about our abilities. But in the end, you climb for yourself. Don't let somebody's messed up view of things take away from your joy of climbing.


granite_grrl


Feb 24, 2009, 9:50 AM
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Re: [wonderwoman] ego and climbing shouldn't mix [In reply to]
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How to deal with your ego. I think there are two steps:

One - you can't be concerned aboutwhat strangers are thinking, they never know the full story, and they're never really thinking what you think they're thinking anyway.

Two - climb with people who know you and you climbing. They can be a mirror for you, reflecting the joy of your accomplishments, understanding the pain and frustrations from your own personal battles in climbing. People where you forget about your ego when you're around them.


clee03m


Feb 24, 2009, 9:57 AM
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All these comments happened since I decided to train for an up coming trip. May be I should expect more comments from the peanut gallery when I climb more often at the gym. Thank goodness weather is improving. I obviously have insecurities about my climbing abilities or these comments wouldn't bother me. I will do my best to keep my ego in check and let the asinine comments roll off my back. On a positive note, I think I saw some improvement last night, and it's only been about 2 weeks since I began to train seriously.


tigerlilly


Feb 24, 2009, 10:14 AM
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Re: [wonderwoman] ego and climbing shouldn't mix [In reply to]
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wonderwoman wrote:
The best thing we can do when encountering with someone who has ill-conceived notions about our climbing ability is to prove them wrong by climbing hard, and more importantly, enjoying our climbing.
In reply to:

I'll go one step further. I really and truely don't give a rat's rump what anyone else thinks of how hard I do or don't climb. I don't have to prove anything to anyone. If someone wants to look down on me because I only lead 5.4, let 'em. (OMG! How can she call herself a climber!) It's no skin off my nose. I'm not about to give anyone else the power to make me feel bad about myself or my climbing. I enjoy climbing too much.

I have to admit, I did not always feel this way. I used to feel I had to prove myself on my bike on occasion. Maybe it's age, or the wisdom that supposedly comes with age. Or maybe, at 46, I'm just glad I'm not dead yet. I'm just trying to share a little of what I've learned along the way.

You strong gals rock. Don't let anyone ever tell you any different. Ignore those who try. They probably aren't worth impressing.

Climb on!

Kathy


Gmburns2000


Feb 24, 2009, 10:42 AM
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tigerlilly wrote:
wonderwoman wrote:
The best thing we can do when encountering with someone who has ill-conceived notions about our climbing ability is to prove them wrong by climbing hard, and more importantly, enjoying our climbing.

I'll go one step further. I really and truely don't give a rat's rump what anyone else thinks of how hard I do or don't climb. I don't have to prove anything to anyone. If someone wants to look down on me because I only lead 5.4, let 'em. (OMG! How can she call herself a climber!) It's no skin off my nose. I'm not about to give anyone else the power to make me feel bad about myself or my climbing. I enjoy climbing too much.

I have to admit, I did not always feel this way. I used to feel I had to prove myself on my bike on occasion. Maybe it's age, or the wisdom that supposedly comes with age. Or maybe, at 46, I'm just glad I'm not dead yet. I'm just trying to share a little of what I've learned along the way.

You strong gals rock. Don't let anyone ever tell you any different. Ignore those who try. They probably aren't worth impressing.

Climb on!

Kathy

Best post so far. It's less about ego and more about self confidence. Do your own thing and be OK with that. Its amazing how well this works out.

Climbing hard never impressed me in ways that it made we respect someone. I'm happy for people who meet their goals, but I'd never respect someone just because they climb hard. If I can keep up, then I can keep up (regardess of gender). If I can't, then I can't. Big deal.

Good people are good people. Bad people are bad people. Climbing hard and ego don't fit into that equation anywhere.


clausti


Feb 25, 2009, 7:45 AM
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the biggest hit to my ego gym climbing is when routes are rated medium and I can't finish them at all because the holds are so far away it simply isn't doable.

by "doable," i mean: the absolute limit of my reach is 6 feet and 10 inches. that is from my toes to my first pad, as far as I can possibly reach. (I'm 5'2".) I frequently use every inch of this to climb gym routes, and the setters just as frequently set holds 7' apart for moves that require static balance. doesn't mean jack shit if i can stand up in control and lay my body against the wall if the hold is still 3-6 inches (or more) away. also, armspan has a limit, too, right? so sometimes they set "monkey bar" bouldering problems that are impossible too.

then a gumby will climb it, and i get really mad. it's not fair!!!


Gmburns2000


Feb 25, 2009, 7:54 AM
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clausti wrote:
the biggest hit to my ego gym climbing is when routes are rated medium and I can't finish them at all because the holds are so far away it simply isn't doable.

by "doable," i mean: the absolute limit of my reach is 6 feet and 10 inches. that is from my toes to my first pad, as far as I can possibly reach. (I'm 5'2".) I frequently use every inch of this to climb gym routes, and the setters just as frequently set holds 7' apart for moves that require static balance. doesn't mean jack shit if i can stand up in control and lay my body against the wall if the hold is still 3-6 inches (or more) away. also, armspan has a limit, too, right? so sometimes they set "monkey bar" bouldering problems that are impossible too.

then a gumby will climb it, and i get really mad. it's not fair!!!

on my best days, I flail and laugh. On my worst days, I blame the setter. Laugh


iamthewallress


Feb 25, 2009, 4:39 PM
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The closest I've ever come to dying climbing was because I let my ego get in the way of paying attention to the normal safety protocol.

I got into a big fight with my bf after failing to lead a climb that I had expected to be NBD. He took over the lead as we argued. Mercifully, I sent on "TR". When I got near the anchor, he reached down and grabbed my belay loop and clipped me in to an anchored runner. I just started crying when I understood what had happened. That pretty much ended our trip.

I've felt differently about the utility or justification for any sort of emotional over-doing-it when climbing since then, including getting to hyped up on the positive side. I little emotion helps, but too much concern for how I'm feeling as opposed to what I need to do to climb well gets in the way of doing it.


(This post was edited by iamthewallress on Feb 25, 2009, 4:40 PM)


clausti


Feb 25, 2009, 4:54 PM
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iamthewallress wrote:
I got into a big fight with my bf after failing to lead a climb that I had expected to be NBD. He took over the lead as we argued. Mercifully, I sent on "TR". When I got near the anchor, he reached down and grabbed my belay loop and clipped me in to an anchored runner. I just started crying when I understood what had happened. That pretty much ended our trip.

wait, so you weren't tied in at all? or you were tied into an end of the rope that wasn't on belay?


iamthewallress


Feb 25, 2009, 5:55 PM
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It was a multipitch route, so my bf was in the other end of the rope at the top anchor of the pitch. I had the rope doing one poke through the figure eight so as I climbed, the slack moved as it normally would, and I didn't notice my error. I probably did that much, freaked out about my poor climbing performance some more, and then never went back to worrying about my tie in. Never again. (Knock on wood.)


mhix13


Feb 25, 2009, 8:45 PM
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clee03m wrote:
Then a few days ago, a guy at the gym complimented me on making a great transition from the gym to outside. The only problem is that I have been climbing for over 6 years and I have only climbed at this gym for little over a year.

if this guy doesn't know you've been climing for over 6 years this should be a genuine compliment. seems he's noticed you've improved Smile

maybe you aren't happy with where you are in regards to level of climbing? perhaps that's why these comments bothered you? lot's of great comments that say to look inward when abrassive comments really get to you.


lena_chita
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Feb 26, 2009, 7:33 AM
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iamthewallress wrote:
It was a multipitch route, so my bf was in the other end of the rope at the top anchor of the pitch. I had the rope doing one poke through the figure eight so as I climbed, the slack moved as it normally would, and I didn't notice my error. I probably did that much, freaked out about my poor climbing performance some more, and then never went back to worrying about my tie in. Never again. (Knock on wood.)

Wow! Good thing that the bf noticed before you weighted the rope at the end of the pitch.


desertwanderer81


Feb 26, 2009, 3:24 PM
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iamthewallress wrote:
It was a multipitch route, so my bf was in the other end of the rope at the top anchor of the pitch. I had the rope doing one poke through the figure eight so as I climbed, the slack moved as it normally would, and I didn't notice my error. I probably did that much, freaked out about my poor climbing performance some more, and then never went back to worrying about my tie in. Never again. (Knock on wood.)

Wow, so you pretty much free-solo'ed the climb you couldn't lead? Heh, psycology is intense.


d0nk3yk0n9


Feb 26, 2009, 3:49 PM
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clausti wrote:
the biggest hit to my ego gym climbing is when routes are rated medium and I can't finish them at all because the holds are so far away it simply isn't doable.

by "doable," i mean: the absolute limit of my reach is 6 feet and 10 inches. that is from my toes to my first pad, as far as I can possibly reach. (I'm 5'2".) I frequently use every inch of this to climb gym routes, and the setters just as frequently set holds 7' apart for moves that require static balance. doesn't mean jack shit if i can stand up in control and lay my body against the wall if the hold is still 3-6 inches (or more) away. also, armspan has a limit, too, right? so sometimes they set "monkey bar" bouldering problems that are impossible too.

then a gumby will climb it, and i get really mad. it's not fair!!!

I'm not even short and I hate routes that aren't fair for shorter people. We have this kid on our team who is 10 years old and absolutely crushes. The problem is that, being only 10, he's naturally quite a bit shorter than the average person that setters set for. I've seen him absolutely destroy some 5.10s and .11s before but be unable to get up 5.8s that don't have feet that he can use. It really isn't fair, but it isn't always possible to set to everyone. Just know that for every climb that you can't reach the holds on because it's set for taller people, there's a climb out there somewhere that tall people can't climb without extreme difficulty do to being awkwardly scrunched up. Overall, don't worry about it, and look at the height dependency of routes before you try them-- there are certainly a lot out there that are challenging without being impossible do to height.


clausti


Feb 26, 2009, 4:29 PM
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d0nk3yk0n9 wrote:
Just know that for every climb that you can't reach the holds on because it's set for taller people, there's a climb out there somewhere that tall people can't climb without extreme difficulty do to being awkwardly scrunched up.

ugh people always trot out that line and it is SUCH BULLSHIT. you don't think short people (or ANYONE, really) have moves that are awkwardly scrunched up? hello, do you think all the "higher feet" are always conveniently placed? um, no. sorry, but no, i don't think anybody gets to bitch about moves being "scrunched up." it's called get some decent technique.

and yes, there is actually a difference between something being effectively impossible (like, maybe i could jump, but it would may the move 13d instead of 11a) and something being debatably harder (like, i feel soo sorry for you because... the sit start is low to the ground?).


lena_chita
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Feb 26, 2009, 6:46 PM
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clausti wrote:
the biggest hit to my ego gym climbing is when routes are rated medium and I can't finish them at all because the holds are so far away it simply isn't doable.

by "doable," i mean: the absolute limit of my reach is 6 feet and 10 inches. that is from my toes to my first pad, as far as I can possibly reach. (I'm 5'2".) I frequently use every inch of this to climb gym routes, and the setters just as frequently set holds 7' apart for moves that require static balance. doesn't mean jack shit if i can stand up in control and lay my body against the wall if the hold is still 3-6 inches (or more) away.

It turned into another shortie rant, didn't it? You should have seen how many problems like that there were last weekend! You were right not to go, LOL.

Some I didn't care about, but there was this one that had the crux early on, the crux that stumped all but 4-5 guys. I was able to do the crux, too. But after the crux there was this giant hold to stand on, and you had to reach up for a tiny crimp-- about 4 inches out of reach for me. It was tracking of course, too. Every single person who made it through the crux was able to stand up on that giant hold, reach the crimp, and then finish the problem. I was the only one who made it through the crux and didn't finish.

Shouldn't upset me at all, right? Who cares! But man, I wanted to do some foot-stomping and "it's not fair" whining so badly. LOL. And I had no one to comiserate with me.


clausti


Feb 26, 2009, 7:14 PM
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lena_chita wrote:
clausti wrote:
the biggest hit to my ego gym climbing is when routes are rated medium and I can't finish them at all because the holds are so far away it simply isn't doable.

by "doable," i mean: the absolute limit of my reach is 6 feet and 10 inches. that is from my toes to my first pad, as far as I can possibly reach. (I'm 5'2".) I frequently use every inch of this to climb gym routes, and the setters just as frequently set holds 7' apart for moves that require static balance. doesn't mean jack shit if i can stand up in control and lay my body against the wall if the hold is still 3-6 inches (or more) away.

It turned into another shortie rant, didn't it? You should have seen how many problems like that there were last weekend! You were right not to go, LOL.

Some I didn't care about, but there was this one that had the crux early on, the crux that stumped all but 4-5 guys. I was able to do the crux, too. But after the crux there was this giant hold to stand on, and you had to reach up for a tiny crimp-- about 4 inches out of reach for me. It was tracking of course, too. Every single person who made it through the crux was able to stand up on that giant hold, reach the crimp, and then finish the problem. I was the only one who made it through the crux and didn't finish.

Shouldn't upset me at all, right? Who cares! But man, I wanted to do some foot-stomping and "it's not fair" whining so badly. LOL. And I had no one to comiserate with me.

that does suck. totally unfair, i agree. Smile i would have bitched, i'm sure. sorry i ditched you for the pitsbrg comp, but somehow school snuck up on me again.

spring is coming.


olive


Feb 26, 2009, 8:21 PM
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tigerlilly wrote:
Learn to separate your shit from everyone else's shit.

Don't take everything everyone else says to heart. Listen to it and ask yourself, "why did that person say that? Is it something I really did/said, or is that their shit projecting on me?" And then ask yourself, why does that make me feel bad?

A lot of times, insecure people will say hurtful things, and it really isn't about you. It's their own fragile ego showing through. The ignorant simply stick their feet in their mouths with amazing dexterity (#2?). Learn to spot it and not to let them push your buttons (i.e. tweak your own insecurities - admit it, we all have 'em Crazy) Usually, when something affects us, it's because the other person has touched on one of our own vulnerabilities. Sounds like this has happened to you, since you feel your ego has taken a beating.
[..]
The flip side is being honest with yourself when you really have done or said something to hurt, offend, or project your own insecurities on others and to own up to it. Buck up and either appologize or modify your own behavior as needed.

Kathy

I found this post really insightful. Or, well, what can I say, it talks to me. I need to read it when I forget about it, and not let other people's shit affect me. I tend to do that. Not always about climbing, but in other areas of my life.


mhix13


Feb 26, 2009, 9:37 PM
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Re: [clausti] ego and climbing shouldn't mix [In reply to]
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clausti wrote:
sorry, but no, i don't think anybody gets to bitch about moves being "scrunched up." it's called get some decent technique.

sometimes it may not be an issue of technique, as it is being able to fold your body into suit-case sized proportions. not saying technique doesn't have it's place but I can think of a local boulder sit start that anyone taller than about 5'5'' or of thicker frame would peal off of cause they couldn't fold their body up to get on it. Tongue


clausti


Feb 27, 2009, 5:15 AM
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Re: [mhix13] ego and climbing shouldn't mix [In reply to]
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mhix13 wrote:
clausti wrote:
sorry, but no, i don't think anybody gets to bitch about moves being "scrunched up." it's called get some decent technique.

sometimes it may not be an issue of technique, as it is being able to fold your body into suit-case sized proportions. not saying technique doesn't have it's place but I can think of a local boulder sit start that anyone taller than about 5'5'' or of thicker frame would peal off of cause they couldn't fold their body up to get on it. Tongue

and like i said, it's called learn to be flexible. unlike reaches, where is is feasible to have a move where someone who has a total reach of 6'11 can reach it and someone with a total reach of 6'10 cannot, a sit start does not immediately jump a threshold in difficulty when your height becomes 5'6. sorry. short people have to scrunch themselves up all the time to do moves. average height people have to scrunch themselves up all the time to do moves. if you never have to scrunch yourself up to do a move, you probably don't climb very hard or you'r probably very tall, or both. either way, this hypothetical you who never has to do any scrunchy moves is going to be a very limited climber.

and, for the record, my bitches about reachy-ness are specifically directed at gym climbing. outside, the rock is the rock, but the rock wasn't set by someone with a sequence in mind placing only the feet that they needed, and the rock allows for a great deal more creativity.

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