“The great thing about climbing is that it’s just a piece of rock. The only thing that makes you feel different is what you bring to it. It acts as a mirror that way, it reflects you. You fall and you’re like, ‘Ugh I suck!’ but you’re the one bringing that negativity to it. It’s just a piece of rock sitting there. When you realize that, it changes everything.” – Whitney Boland, Black Diamond Ambasssador
This week, I sent my first V6 in the gym. It wasn’t nearly as much of a project as my first V5, but I still was super excited to get it.
I ran around the gym in celebration, high fiving and hugging friends, who were all super stoked for me.
But when I ran up to one friend, he responded matter-of-factly, “Great. Now go climb something else.”
I was momentarily stunned by his reaction, and he continued, “It doesn’t matter. There will always be something harder to climb. And it’s just plastic.”
I know he’s not wrong. Yet I also know that it does matter, at least to me.
The move that I thought I could’t do until a friend explained the micro movements matters because it showed me that the littlest things can make all the difference.
The move where I fell off again and again…and again…and again…and yet again matters because it showed me that sometimes things that feel so hard can suddenly feel easy if you keep trying.
The move where I immediately figured out how to press with my hand to mantel and move my foot up matters because it showed me that I should trust my instincts more.
The move where I thought I was going barn door off but managed to stay on matters because it showed me that trying hard matters.
And the finish move matters because it showed me the importance of committing. When practicing the moves, I was terrified to try it, but when I finally committed, I realized it was not so scary after all.
And the support and encouragement from my friends (including the one who said it didn’t matter) throughout the whole process matters, because, by believing in me, they showed me how to believe in myself.
So did sending my first V6 matter? By itself, no. But did everything that led to that moment matter? Yes.
And it will matter every time I try something that seems impossible in the future.