Keith's latest blog entry (http://www.unclesomebody.com/blog/?p=61 ) made me think about many things.
The FASI, italian climbing federation, along with the international CONI, is trying hard to take climbing to the Olympics. I really can't see why, but this doesn't matter. What does matter, though, is the fact that while they want to take climbing to the next level, they still treat climbing as a third world country would. The lack of training facilities, the lack of professional trainers, and therefore of promising youths, are only a few aspects that come to my mind. To my knowledge, many of the most talented italian young climbers, do not have a professional trainer to give them advice, and all of them have to enrol into some kind of military corp (the army, the police, the Carabinieri) to be able to train full time and to earn some money.
This kind of thoughts, also applies to individuals.
Keith clearly wants to take his climbing to the next level (Font 9b+ that is...), and is ready to take upon himself all the responsibilities of this quest. Chapeau.
So, why 99% of the climbers I know don't want to? They just want to improve by some kind of divine miracle. Obviously, going to the gym two hours every tuesday and thursday (the classic days), will take you only to one point. After that point you have to make a decision. You do, or you don't, there's no try.
Not giving themselves completely to the struggle for improvement, clearly leaves them puzzled at everything: they just can't comprehend how the strong ones are so strong. Clearly, the idea that the strong ones train like madmen, isn't part of their brains. Their idea is that they are talented, gifted, lucky, so that they just ARE strong, they didn't BECOME strong. The miracles of life.
This pisses me off, because in this kind of thougts, there's no room for real improvements: they think that if you were crappy one year ago, you're still crappy now and you'll be crappy next year. Sometimes, you may be awarded with the random send, but only on special occasions, on morpho problems, or on something especially chipped for you. You'll never get strong, because they can't see themselves getting strong, and you are just like they are: a human.
And that's true, but the brains are different. My brain now tells me to put into training everything I have, everyday I can. Every skipped session, is a lost occasion to grow and to improve; and if you don't grow and don't improve, in my idea you don't just stay where you are, you go back.
The other night I talked with a guy at the gym, that I hadn't seen in months. He asked me stuff, he told me my problems on the walls are hard, and so on. I thought that past arguments were gone. They weren't. When he asked me if I was climbing much, I said that I wasn't but that I was happy about doing something quite hard once every while. "Of course - I added - it's not that I'm climbing 8b's". "Not even 8a's probably" he quickly said. I replied that yes, I had done a few 8a's and went away.
So the question is: did I tell him to have two sons? No. Did I tell him to move on the opposite side of town from the gym? No. Did I tell him that I never train? No. So, why, oh why can't he understand that some of us want to give everything to improve? I've spent the past winter working all day long, getting to the gym at 8 pm, then training until 11 pm every night, almost losing my relationship. But I struggled and kept things together.
On my fingerboarding sessions, I was pulling almost 1.700 kg on my fingertips. It was painful and boring, but it was something I got to go through to be able to move further and closer to my targets.
So, please everybody, do what you want, but don't try to deprive me, Keith, and all the dedicated ones of our quest. We and you don't think the same, don't want the same, are not the same.