I’d been working on a boulder problem at my new gym, but kept getting frustrated. I could do the first move, but then was completely stuck. Literally. I couldn’t seem to move anywhere from there. It didn’t make sense. Nothing felt possible.
So I got frustrated and walked away.
A few days later, I had the urge to try again. Once again, I did the first move, and once again, I got stuck.
Something wasn’t right. But this time, rather than get frustrated, I sat on the mats and reassessed.
And I realized that maybe my issue wasn’t the second move, but the first move. I was immediately going for the easy hold, because it was there, and it was, well, easy. But what if I went to the worse hold right next to it – the one I didn’t even notice until right then would be a perfect pinch if I grabbed it differently.
I tried it. And now the first move was a little bit harder, but it was possible – and suddenly the second move felt possible, too.
It didn’t take long to make the next moves, and the entire rest of the problem flowed easily.
When I finally sent, I felt a different sense of satisfaction than on many of my projects.
Sometimes in climbing, it’s about being physically stronger in order to make the move.
But sometimes it’s about figuring out the sequence. And sometimes doing that reminds you to look at things differently.
You might only see one option, but that might not be reality.
Maybe the hold that’s easiest to grab isn’t actually what you should reach for first.
If you go for the slightly harder hold now, it could make everything fall into place down the line.
Often, it’s not about easy. It’s about trying harder.