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Plinko123


Jun 21, 2012, 11:19 AM
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Embarassed can't climb as hard as others
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Hi Everyone,
I have been climbing about 3 years, 2-3 times a week indoors & out. I am attempting to top rope 10.b's in the gym and lead 10.a's in the gym. I am so embarassed though, b/c I meet people all the time (and on the forum) who have been climbing less than a year and already well past my level. It is making me feel inadequate and jealous of these climbers. If I tell people how long I have been climbing I sometimes catch a look of why isn't she better?
Is there anyone who has climbed for 3 years or longer and can't climb as hard as those with less time under their belt? I will climb more to improve but I am slow at it. How do I shake this feeling? Am I the only one?
This is starting to affect my performance.
Thanks
Lorraine


SylviaSmile


Jun 21, 2012, 11:35 AM
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Plinko123 wrote:
Hi Everyone,
I have been climbing about 3 years, 2-3 times a week indoors & out. I am attempting to top rope 10.b's in the gym and lead 10.a's in the gym. I am so embarassed though, b/c I meet people all the time (and on the forum) who have been climbing less than a year and already well past my level. It is making me feel inadequate and jealous of these climbers. If I tell people how long I have been climbing I sometimes catch a look of why isn't she better?
Is there anyone who has climbed for 3 years or longer and can't climb as hard as those with less time under their belt? I will climb more to improve but I am slow at it. How do I shake this feeling? Am I the only one?
This is starting to affect my performance.
Thanks
Lorraine

Great post, this is a very honest feeling. And I'm sure you are not the only one. I haven't even been climbing that long (since October, and really only this year, regularly), yet I have met people who started this spring and are already leading 5.10, whereas I am putting off taking a lead climbing class until I can just toprope a 5.9 without flailing! That said, even though I'm not God's gift to climbing and not naturally strong or talented at it, I still really enjoy doing it. I think if you compare yourself to others you will always be dissatisfied, so just try to remember what makes you feel good about climbing and focus on the positive. Smile


csproul


Jun 21, 2012, 11:47 AM
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Yep, been climbing well over 15 years and I experience this all the time. My advice, get over it. There will always be people around who climb harder. Do the best you can and do what you need to improve your climbing. There is no point in comparing yourself to other people, except maybe to figure out what those people did (if anything) to improve. I know it's humbling, and sometimes a little embarrassing, but you can only focus on yourself.


mats.isaksson


Jun 21, 2012, 11:47 AM
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Iīve climbed for 23 years, 3-4 times a week during the last five years. I am attempting to top rope .12aīs in the gym and lead .11dīs indoors. Iīm so embarrased though, b/c I meet people all the time who have been climbing less than 23 years and are already past my level. Itīs making me feel inadequate and jealous of these climbers. Is there anyone who has climbed for 23 years or longer and canīt climb as hard as tose with less time under their belt?

Well, just to illustrate that this is more of a mental thing than anything else. It wont go away with time... Donīt look at how others make progress, look at yourself. Train if you want to improve, just climb casually if you think the climbing itself is fun enough. Above all: go outside, thatīs where the real fun is. My friends all climb harder than me, although Iīve climbed for a longer time (by far). You will get better at what you do. If you climb, youīll get better at climbing. If climbing is no fun bc you think you suck at it (or whatever), find something else to do. Do what you think is fun, thatīs the key.

Good luck,
Mats


lena_chita
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Jun 21, 2012, 11:57 AM
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Re: [Plinko123] Embarassed can't climb as hard as others [In reply to]
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No matter how hard you climb, there is always someone better.

Yes, I know people who still, after climbing for 10+ years, still struggle to lead 5.10 sport. I also know people who sent 5.12 within the first year of climbing.

It would be nice to be one of the prodigies, and have admiration of random onlookers. But there is no magic. You have to work with what you've got.

So your options boil down to this:

1) stop caring about what other people think about your climbing. You climb for yourself, and enjoy it.

2) stop climbing. Nobody will judge you a bad climber if you don't climb. They will just judge you to be a quitter... and then promptly forget about it.

3) try harder, train better, and get better-- then go back to the start of this post (there will always be someone better) and decide between points 1 and 2.


Either way, nobody but you really cares, in the end.

Those looks that people give you, in all likelihood, are in your head more than anywhere else. If you are self-conscious and embarrassed about your climbing, you probably over-estimate how much anybody cares about your climbing skills (the answer is, very little).

And even if, after watching you, someone did have a passing thought along the lines of "wow, she really doesn't climb very well for someone who's been at it for 3 years", they will likely switch quickly to thinking about other things, much more important to them (they are probably a lot more concerned about their own performance, and not at all concerned about yours)


dagibbs


Jun 21, 2012, 12:15 PM
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Yeah.

I've been climbing, now, about 6 or 7 years. Indoors and out, 2-4 times a week, plus occasional trips. I can generally expect to onsight 5.10a and sometimes 5.10b at my gym, and generally get with some work 10c and 10d routes -- on TR. Lead, about a letter grade lower. For me, it has been a fairly extended plateau -- within the first year I was working on the low 10s, but haven't pushed past that.

But, there's huge amounts of rock out there which I can climb at this level, and I continue to thoroughly enjoy the climbing that I do, and that's what matters to me.


gblauer
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Jun 21, 2012, 12:18 PM
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Ha...you are not alone. I climb all the time, I train with a personal trainer, I do cardio 6 days a week and I still suck as a climber. Most of the time I have fun, but, I do feel envious when others easily surpass my hard earned (albeit lowly) achievements.

I also find it embarassing and humiliating given how much effort/time/share of brain that I put into the sport.


Plinko123


Jun 21, 2012, 12:20 PM
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Thank you everyone! All your answers are correct, I just needed to hear it from others.


iknowfear


Jun 21, 2012, 1:00 PM
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Plinko123 wrote:
Hi Everyone,
I have been climbing about 3 years, 2-3 times a week indoors & out. I am attempting to top rope 10.b's in the gym and lead 10.a's in the gym. I am so embarassed though, b/c I meet people all the time (and on the forum) who have been climbing less than a year and already well past my level. It is making me feel inadequate and jealous of these climbers. If I tell people how long I have been climbing I sometimes catch a look of why isn't she better?
Is there anyone who has climbed for 3 years or longer and can't climb as hard as those with less time under their belt? I will climb more to improve but I am slow at it. How do I shake this feeling? Am I the only one?
This is starting to affect my performance.
Thanks
Lorraine

always remember this:

Mad Dog wrote:
"I climb as hard as anyone on earth. I just do it on easier routes."


jt512


Jun 21, 2012, 1:38 PM
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gblauer wrote:
Ha...you are not alone. I climb all the time, I train with a personal trainer, I do cardio 6 days a week and I still suck as a climber.

Would you expect climbing all the time, training with a personal trainer, and doing cardio 6 days a week to make you a good climber? None of those activities are climbing-specific training. The first is climbing specific, but not training; the second and third are training, but not climbing specific.

Jay


sungam


Jun 21, 2012, 2:34 PM
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jt512 wrote:
gblauer wrote:
Ha...you are not alone. I climb all the time, I train with a personal trainer, I do cardio 6 days a week and I still suck as a climber.

Would you expect climbing all the time, training with a personal trainer, and doing cardio 6 days a week to make you a good climber? None of those activities are climbing-specific training. The first is climbing specific, but not training; the second and third are training, but not climbing specific.

Jay
Maybe the cardio is insane ARC circuits!


jcrew


Jun 21, 2012, 3:15 PM
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numbers are put into their true perspective as soon as you are in, or are close to, an accident. all that really counts is that you enjoy yourself for a long climbing life.


Gmburns2000


Jun 21, 2012, 4:26 PM
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I've been climbing for 13 years and I still brown point 5.8.

Urp...


gunkiemike


Jun 21, 2012, 4:39 PM
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I think it helps to have had some exposure in another athletic realm. Although I have been climbing (poorly, but modern standards) for 30+ years, I went through a period of running distance races. I trained HARD according to all the best wisdom: periodization, overdistance, intervals...you name it. And I never broke 42 minutes for 10K. While other people ran high 30's within a year. My best mile on the track? 5:27. High school kids do that at try-out before they make the team.

Another example - simple one: throwing a baseball. I never could throw a ball even half the distance of the school jocks. I just don't have fast twitch fibers I suppose.

Back to climbing - folks are different on a genetic level, and it makes a HUGE difference in how easily they can progress to difficult climbing. I disagree with the training advocates who feel that anyone can work up to 5.12 climbing. For some, 5.9 is a lifetime goal. But as Alex Lowe said, "The best climber is the one having the most fun".


Partner rgold


Jun 21, 2012, 5:15 PM
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I feel lucky. I learned with a group of friends. None of us knew anything except what we could glean from books. We climbed outdoors, and for a while all our goals were mountaineering goals. No gyms. We grew up with the sport. I had a blast, and managed a 5.10 or two after five years. Never got beyond a few trad 5.12's, did some pretty hard bouldering for the time. Its been 55 years, and at this point most of the gym climbs harder than I can.

I Did a lot of training to get better because I wasn't that close to rocks for a while. Viewed in retrospect, most of the training was wrong, but it was gymnastic in nature so we had a blast with that too.

If it is all about who's best, or even about keeping up with the Jonses, then you're in the wrong game. Find out what climbing is really about and see if you like it.


losbill


Jun 21, 2012, 5:50 PM
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Plinko -- Climb for yourself and no one else. Everybody is in the same boat. No matter how strong a climber eventually everyone gets humbled. Climb with those who are supportive and who enjoy your accomplishments and joy in climbing even if they are climbing 2 or 3 grades more than you.

Jay --- Screw you. Gail has more fun climbing than anyone I know, be it 5.2 or 5.10d. Also no one more gracious and generous. You are really a jerk. Can I get on your kill file list now you AH? xo Bill


sonso45


Jun 21, 2012, 6:37 PM
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Gail, you train too hard! And you don't suck as a climber.

Plinko: Don't focus on other people's success just yours. I'm happy to climb, not necessarily that I can climb better or worse than anyone. Keep climbing and you will improve.


guangzhou


Jun 21, 2012, 7:18 PM
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Plinko123 wrote:
Hi Everyone,
I have been climbing about 3 years, 2-3 times a week indoors & out. I am attempting to top rope 10.b's in the gym and lead 10.a's in the gym. I am so embarassed though, b/c I meet people all the time (and on the forum) who have been climbing less than a year and already well past my level. It is making me feel inadequate and jealous of these climbers. If I tell people how long I have been climbing I sometimes catch a look of why isn't she better?
Is there anyone who has climbed for 3 years or longer and can't climb as hard as those with less time under their belt? I will climb more to improve but I am slow at it. How do I shake this feeling? Am I the only one?
This is starting to affect my performance.
Thanks
Lorraine

Loads of people climb harder than me with much less experience, especially in the gym or on overhanging sport routes.

Are you climbing better than when you started? If so, enjoy yourself. If not, do you enjoy climbing? If yes, keep on climbing.

I learned to climb before gyms. Just commented the other day to ne of our members, took me more than three years to climb my first 5.9. (5.9 variation on Nut Cracker's first pitch) He replied with "I would have quite if my progress was that slow.) Interestingly, I didn't think I was moving all that slow, I was just going out, climbing fun routes and learning.

I've never really compared myself to other climbers. Some climbers, actually many now, have impressed me over the years.

Climbers climbing harder routes than me, well some of today's best climbers have were born after I started climbing. How is that for putting things into perceptive.


notapplicable


Jun 21, 2012, 8:47 PM
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I have partners who only climb 4-5 times a year and don't climb harder than 5.7. They always have fun.

I also have partners who climb 4-5 days a week and train compulsively. They are happy as long as they are improving.

I'm somewhere in the middle.

Find your sweet spot and enjoy the level at which that allows you to climb.


bearbreeder


Jun 21, 2012, 9:37 PM
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the question to ask yourself is do you want to get better? ... if yr happy doing what you are doing then keep doing it ...

if you want to climb harder, focus on climbing harder, better technique, and climb with people who want to climb harder ...

its yr choice

being able to climb harder opens new doors in both partners and routes you can do ... it can also be very rewarding, and frustrating ... you WILL fail, and you WILL get yr ego burst ... but at least you tried

personally i think people should climb whatever makes em happy .. but personally i look for partners who can climb decently close to my level ...

as long as you arent a 5.7 climber beta spraying and telling people the many ways they can die ... its all good Tongue

unless yr name is ondra ... there will always be someone better than you ...


guangzhou


Jun 21, 2012, 9:43 PM
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bearbreeder wrote:
the question to ask yourself is do you want to get better? ... if yr happy doing what you are doing then keep doing it ...

if you want to climb harder, focus on climbing harder, better technique, and climb with people who want to climb harder ...

its yr choice

being able to climb harder opens new doors in both partners and routes you can do ... it can also be very rewarding, and frustrating ... you WILL fail, and you WILL get yr ego burst ... but at least you tried

personally i think people should climb whatever makes em happy .. but personally i look for partners who can climb decently close to my level ...

as long as you arent a 5.7 climber beta spraying and telling people the many ways they can die ... its all good Tongue

unless yr name is ondra ... there will always be someone better than you ...

I am guessing Ondra's 15 minutes are almost up. Especially if you add some trad routes to the list.


wivanoff


Jun 22, 2012, 5:16 AM
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Plinko123 wrote:
Is there anyone who has climbed for 3 years or longer and can't climb as hard as those with less time under their belt? I will climb more to improve but I am slow at it. How do I shake this feeling? Am I the only one?
I've been climbing since 1972 and you're climbing as well as or better than I am (currently). In contrast with today's instant gym climbers, BITD it took years before many of us could climb 5.10

And, so what? I climb for me and for my enjoyment. While I love leading routes with my friends, there's lots of times when I'll go out and TR solo a bunch of easy routes on a local crag. Just me. No one else on the whole cliff and I have a blast. I'm not impressing anyone and it's just pure joy of movement.

Plinko123 wrote:
This is starting to affect my performance.
Why? Aren't you having fun? Don't worry about how well others are climbing. I'd climb with you anytime.


dagibbs


Jun 22, 2012, 7:12 AM
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guangzhou wrote:
bearbreeder wrote:

unless yr name is ondra ... there will always be someone better than you ...

I am guessing Ondra's 15 minutes are almost up. Especially if you add some trad routes to the list.

I was thinking the same thing -- within 0-5 years, there'll be someone better than Ondra.


Partner cracklover


Jun 22, 2012, 9:04 AM
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You've gotten plenty of advice. Much of it very encouraging. So at the risk of being a bit of a jerk, I'm going to go ahead and be brutally honest.

I don't really think this has anything to do with climbing. I find that different people have different outlooks in general. Some folks find joy in everything, others find something to gripe about no matter what. Some are always comparing themselves to others and feeling either insecure or superior (or both), while others are happy-go-lucky.

I think that if you really enjoy climbing, you should figure out how to change your attitude, and fast. Because if you don't you'll probably move on to something else. Of course the same thing may happen there, too, unless you happen to be a natural. And then the next thing after that. And it will be a shame, if climbing could have been something you'd really have gotten a lot out of.

OK, so with that out of the way, here's what I hope will be a helpful suggestion: For now, find people to climb with who are around the same level as you, and who have the attitude about climbing that you most appreciate. And immerse yourself in *that* world, even if it means not logging onto climbing forums or whatever.

Personal story...

I remember when I first got somewhat serious about playing the game Go. It's a board game, similar to chess. Anyway, me and a friend of mine together discovered the pure joy in the game. We'd stay up most of the night playing Go, drinking, exploring the game. I was doing something hard and competitive, where I wanted to win, but had such a massive amount of fun in the doing of it, that the joy or pain in winning or losing was really only a small ripple lost in the larger wave of fun. I was playing with someone my own skill level, and of a similar mindset, and we were just having the time of our lives - and learning a lot while we were at it.

Later we drifted apart, and I played with other people who were quite different from me, but I still had it. I could lose game after game, and have great fun, and learn even more, since I was playing with people stronger than me.

Later I discovered something interesting and wonderful: I could keep that same attitude in other endeavors. Let me tell you, it's a hell of a lot more pleasant than feeling crappy, and you'll do better too!

Cheers!

GO


surfstar


Jun 22, 2012, 9:20 AM
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Take up trad. A solid 5.9 leader is respectable for old school trad. Numbers aren't as important as a nice line.
Sport & bouldering focus on #s quite a bit.


Heck, the Nose goes at 5.9 C1/C2.


(This post was edited by surfstar on Jun 22, 2012, 9:24 AM)

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