Schadenfreude project progress

After sending Evil Wears No Pants (30) about eight weeks ago, my gaze immediately swiveled back to my project at the Pulpit, tentatively dubbed Schadenfreude.

(IPA: [ˈʃaːdənˌfʁɔʏ̯də] Audio (German) is enjoyment taken from the misfortune of someone else. The word referring to this emotion has been borrowed from German by the English language[1] and is sometimes also used as a loanword by other languages.

Philosopher and sociologist Theodor Adorno defined schadenfreude as “largely unanticipated delight in the suffering of another which is cognized as trivial and/or appropriate.”[2]

I've been working on this 14 metre piece of rock since September 2007. I sunk eight days over two months into it last season, and since switching focus back to it in July this year, have put in another eight days. The turnstile at the base of the route currently reads '43'.

The route climbs the first half of an existing 26, before breaking right onto a smooth, 30 degree overhung headwall. Once you move onto the headwall via a crazy heelhook, the next 10 moves are so hard you can't chalk up or clip.

I've had to alter my training specifically for the route. Hangboarding and campussing on small rungs has built my finger strength, and setting two simulation problems on my wall has allowed me to engrain the unusual movement transitions and develop the brute undercling power I need to succeed.

It's testing me to my limits, but the great thing is that I'm making progress almost every day I go out. As you approach your limit though, 'progress' starts to become measured in smaller and smaller increments. "I made it to the same high point, but I held the hold slightly longer!" You have to take these small wins though, lest you become demotivated. And someone really pushing their limits needs to cultivate the skill of finding success and positivity in each day spent on a long-term project, even if it only comes in the form of 'learning something new' or simply getting 'route fit'.

After falling from the final hard move on the route yesterday, I know that it will go. The only uncertainty is the 'when'.

© D Steel 2007