10 November 2012
Just had another email from a climber with an amazing story of determination to break personal climbing barriers at a relatively old age and following the diagnosis of a serious health condition. The thought that crossed my mind straight away was ‘why can’t we all learn to be this determined and resourceful 20 or 30 years earlier’.
Of course, in the young, there is probably a classic ‘bell curve’ of athletes, some who develop great mental toughness, determination and general steeliness against problems at an early age.
As a coach dealing with climbers in their 40s and beyond, the advice needed is often practical; do this, try that and nothing more. You know that when pointed in the right direction, these hardened athletes will go off and work their backsides off to get where they need to go. Energy is maybe a little harder to come by, but it doesn’t have to matter because almost none is wasted.
Youth has a lot of energy to throw at things, but it’s too often poorly directed. Too focused on the fun stuff, ignoring the boring but important stuff. So much of that energy is wasted.