Saturday, 8 May 2010


Respect is one lost attitute nowadays, but it has great importance for me. It says alot about a person, and I want to be a respectful person, also at the rocks.
Years ago, I was watching a tennis match at the telly; well, more than a tennis match, was a tennis lesson: one of the players (whose names now are lost in the dust of my brain) was so superior, so inspired, that his poor opponent was being destroyed; it was something on the lines of the infamous final of Roland Garros back in 1988, when Steffi Graf won 6-0 6-0 in 32 minutes, tennis' shortest final ever.
Anyway, on the commentators' mouths the word "humiliation" appeared often, and it seemed well put at the moment. Everyone was thinking "Please, let him win at least this point!" and was considering kind of "unfair" to destroy an opponent with such energy and dedication: it seemed that the player wanted to put the other player's career to an end.
At some point though, they gave the mic to another commentator, a former tennis champion of the '70s, and he said one of the most inspiring things I have ever heard on sports. He said that it was just the opposite: far from being a humiliation, the stronger player was paying his best respect to the other one, putting all his energy into defeating him. This is the only way to demonstrate respect: giving everything you have to destroy your opponent. What most consider a sign of respect, doing just enough to win, like cat and mouse, is a horrible lack of respect and a true sign of presumptuousness.
When you destroy an opponent, although it may seem "unfair", you are telling him "listen man, I believe you are a strong opponent, I fear you and I respect you, so I won't risk anything with you, and I will cancel you from the Earth's face". On the other hand, if we don't put ourselves 100% into something, we want to say that we are superior to that task or opponent, we don't need to apply seriously.
So, I want to keep this attitude also in my climbing. If someone shows me a problem and I know I can flash it, I want to flash it, and to flash it so hard that it becomes another problem. In this I am not humiliating my friend, I am only paying my respect to the problem, especially if it's on plastic, because it has probably been conceived to be hard, especially for the setter.
Briefly, I want to apply all myself to a task, because I think that this is the only way to be respectful, so if this involves destroying a friend's problem, well so be it. I put too much of myself into climbing to let it become something not entirely serious. So, if I will ever get to the Tor, and if I will ever do that infamous one armer, be sure that I will try to do two; and if I will do two, I will try to do three, and so on, endlessly. Because Malc is a legend, and because he'd do the same, I am sure.

1 comment:

Char said...

I like this idea a lot.