20 August 2007

Potential vs Track Record

What happens if you focus all your energy on getting strong and putting hours in at the climbing wall?

People say “Wow, that guy/girl has so much potential. They are so strong, they could do something really hard”

What happens if you balance your energy between training and fine tuning your performance tactics and risk losing training time by staying out there and finishing projects or trying new things?

People say “Wow that guy/girl has done so many hard routes, but they aren’t as strong as I expected them to be.”

If you are the guy with the awesome track record, it’s a psychologically difficult place to be. Everyone is constantly surprised by how much you’ve achieved on the strength you have. Why? Because the climbing world is full of wall rats who are super strong but too scared to put their neck on the line and risk failure by getting out there and actually trying a hard route. They will compare you to this norm and will never understand how you did it. So many strong climbers have achieved so little, because they are too scared, and like the easy position of being the guy with the potential.

Who do you want to be? The guy with potential, or the guy who does a lot of hard routes?