In my life experience, virtually all valuable growth has been a product of confronting a weakness or a discomfort head on. And often, the amount of growth is directly proportional to the energy invested, although lots of times it might not seem that way immediately. This is perhaps the single greatest lesson I came across through my youth traveling and a little knowledge cookie that I chew on frequently (yummy). The same rule definitely applies to rock climbing. Everybody has their own weaknesses. My weakness? Bouldering.. and more specifically- power and dynamic movement. BOOM!! there it is.. feels good to get it off my chest. Now here's the hard part- in order to get better at powerful or dynamic moves I am going to have to try them, a lot (Shit!). This is for sure the next step for my personal climbing progression. Improving my bouldering ability would really round out my skill set for hard routes and open up a lot of potential trad and sport climbs around the country that I am stoked to attempt.
Soooo.. now that I have come to terms with my little problem.. 'Trice'. Word. This is a freakin hard three move boulder problem at Flagstaff Mountain. It is close to town, its lower to the ground (no spotters needed), it is hard and it has interesting history (first done over 30 years ago by Jim Holloway, to be repeated on the same day in late '07 by 2 of Boulders strongest hardmen Jamie Emerson (pictured above on TRICE- oh and its an ANDY MANN photo of course) and Carlo Traversi, with slightly different beta- very likely the first problem of its grade in America). A few months ago I half-ass tried Trice and was like 'psst, yeah f#$%in right!!' and carried on with my 20-some laps on the cloud-shadow traverse all stoked not to try too hard. Not anymore! now I'm stoked to try hard- remember? I went up there today for my second day of serious effort on this thing. Day before yesterday I was able to figure out some minor foot beta and make some mini-progress which got me all fired up (its only three moves). Today, I cemented my beta and began to cement my body memory for the problem. I was able to (shockingly) comfortably stick and hold / adjust the second hold (a poor left hand crimp) and begin to move to the finishing jug before my feet slipped off and I was earth-bound. I was so surprised and excited that I gave a little 'fuck yea!'. Given it is so short and so hard, body position and the slightest little foot and hand changes make it all possible or impossible. I am VERY excited to go back to this problem after a few days of shitty weather ahead- giving my hamstring (pulled it heel hooking on this thing) and my tips (ripped a flapper on this thing) some time to heal up.
So get out there and try something too hard for you or too bouldery, or too pumpy, or too steep, or too long, etc. etc. etc. and get stoked!! growth is NOT easy, but it can be motivating.