Thursday, 18 December 2008


We are one with body and mind. This is a truth so simple that I am ashamed to have ignored it for years in the past. I remember driving to the crag so sadly and so full of stress for the routes I was going to lead, that I can't believe I just didn't turn the car and head home. I remember thinking "ohhh I hope everything goes right today, I hope I won't be scared on the lead", instead of thinking "ok let's go and see what I'm keen for and have fun!".
It's so difficult to perform ar each one's limit, because our entire body has to work perfectly, and to be at its best. Not only this, our mind also has to work accordingly. It has to give us the right tension, the right anxiety, the right relaxation, the right will and desire. We have to be at 100% of our possibilities.
I think about top athletes. How many times an athlete can be at his best? I don't mean winning a competition, I mean performing so well that better is just not possible. Usain Bolt won and was at his best probably, and that produced a feat so great that it will be remembered for ages. He could have won witout being at top, but this wouldn't have made history, despite being a great success.
Us climbers are less lucky. We can't win without being at top, because we don't compete against others, but against ourselves. So every time that we are not at our best, or at least one step ahead of where we were before, we can't win. We may succeed, but we don't win. There's a big difference, in my mind, between the two: succeeding is achieving a goal; winning is being at top.
Lately, I have succeeded on something, but I haven't won anything. Probably I was in better form when I failed five times in a row on OOS sit, than when I crushed at Città dei Sassi. Or maybe not, but this particular aspect isn't very important. In both cases I had great fun, I liked alot how I was climbing, and that's a great thing anyway, but that's not what we're talking about now.
My obsession, my target, generally is to go somewhere and climb at my limit. This is the same as if Usain Bolt would run for a world record at every comp. Simply it's not possible. Usain has to be happy, sometimes, with just winning the race. I have to be happy, sometimes, with performing under limit. But I don't like it, because I compete against myself.
Then, where's this limit I want to perform at. I mean what grade is my ABSOLUTE LIMIT? What can I climb with perfect skin, form, technique, mind and conditions? I don't know. For sure it's not what I usually try. How can I know? Because if it was, I would succeed very very very rarely. So what I've done until now, is behind my limit, because I can achieve that not often, but with a decent regularity.
On a side note: is it worth to go out and climb something that's under the limit? Of course it is, given that what you do is close enough to this limit. How close? As close as it could be.
So, I think I'm slowly recovering from last weeks' sadness, and this comes mostly from my mind. Ok, my back is getting better, my shoulder also, but, for example, I tore a gash in my index finger last tuesday, right where the joint of the phalanx is, where the finger flexes. I'm fairly sure it will take time to heal dammit.
Finally, how can I act when I know I don't have the oneness of body and mind? I think that if your body isn't on, there's no point in pushing your mind, in forcing yourself into it, because it won't work. Perhaps, if your mind is weak but your body (very) strong, it's worth playing your chances and trying to let your mind take confidence from your body.
This is all on paper, on the net.
The next task will be to apply it in the real world, the rocks, the only place where you can truly succeed and, in some magic moments of fullfillment, win.

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