Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Wisdom of Will

Will Gadd has been posting a fascinating series of mini-essays on training and competition at his always-excellent blog, and his "Random Training Thoughts #5: Mental is particularly interesting. This paragraph really jumped out at me, vis-à-vis my own climbing:

"Worry about the things you can control, and get them right. Don't show up with your blown-out laces about to break. Be well-fed, well-hydrated, well-dressed, etc., etc. This a really deep well to look down once you get going on it..."

So true. Basically it's piss-poor preparation equals piss-poor performance. We all know it, but how often do we look deep into that well and make the changes we ought to? Speaking specifically of competition, Gadd continues:

"You can't control other people's results, or even your own. You can only control how well you perform. If you perform well you'll get a good result, but worrying about the result is wasted energy."

I rarely train intensively for my sports, and I compete even less often, but Gadd's advice just as well to the "non-competitive" climbing I love, especially alpine climbing with its many variables. If you prepare well, make good decisions about the things you can't control (weather, snow conditions, etc.), and enjoy the climb itself more than the summit, you'll be a happy and successful climber.

But don't take my word for it. Read Will's excellent posts for yourself.

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