The right stuff

This marks my 100th post, so let's see if I can make it count.

I had a friend recently tell me "I just got so sick of 'the scene' I needed to take a break from climbing for a while". Can you imagine that? It wasn't the climbing. The personalities in their climbing circle were so poisonous that they had to escape!

Talking to climbers, most of us want to "get better". Of course, that's what this blog is all about. The whole "getting better" thing is completely subjective, but one of the primary factors that people don't often think about which has huge repercussions on "getting better" is surrounding yourself with the right people.

The right people:

  • May be better or worse climbers than you, it doesn't matter. If they are better climbers, they encourage you to get better and suggest routes to try
  • Help you to see your mistakes
  • Contribute positive vibes while at the crag
  • Give energy to you. When you're feeling down or unsure, their moral support helps to get you through
  • Are solid, safe, climbing partners. You can focus 100% on climbing when they're on belay
  • Are willing to go out of their way to see you get on your goal routes, knowing you'll do the same for them
  • May be competitive with you, but regardless, truly want to see you succeed
The wrong people:
  • Bring negative vibes to the crag (complain about conditions, injuries, other climbers etc.) which sucks energy and psyche
  • Are unreliable and often bail on climbing
  • Are distracting
  • Are stagnant and haven't improved in years
  • Are fixed in their idea of what climbing should be like (i.e. this style, this cliff, my way!)
  • Talk smack about other people's climbing
  • Aren't interested in your climbing goals ("We're going to this cliff and that's that!")
  • Are so competitive with you (i.e. insecure), that they would secretly rather see you fail than succeed
Moral of the story? Find the right people. Cultivate them. And BE one of the right people. How can you help your partners achieve their goals? Hint: step one is to ask them what their goals are...