And I did it campus-style, after wasting 20 minutes trying to be all footy-wooty like Andy and Lisa. Nope. Pull on, pop to the crimp, clamp my heel under the wall, and — ok at this point I fall tapping out the stupid plate thingy, but whatever. I’m not sure I could ever do the whole problem, or that I am going to fall in love with it enough to try, but it felt like a total coup to find a way to make that first move work for me. Like when I got asked on a date recently. I passed, because what if he wanted to, like, hold my hand or something. I mean, yeah no. Plus he’d probably think it was weird that I don’t drink. Plus he was way too young/ blond/European/etc. for me. All the same, It felt good to be asked. So I might not get into a ‘thing’ with Power of Silence, but having some minor success totally stoked my psyche on being here and on bouldering.
I thought about it later, when I was reading more of Arnold Palmer’s “Going for Broke”, which is about his strategy for winning golf tournaments throughout the 1960s. It’s totally relevant. Bear with me. I underlined this:
…Golf is not only a game of touch and feel, it is a game of heightened sensitivity. It must respond to the inner needs and character of the golfer. Every man must measure his skills against his goals and his purpose. The integrity with which he puts them together is his own best measure of success. A man must respond to what is within him.
With all those short declarative phrases, he’s pretty much the Hemingway of golf books. Anyway, Arnold Palmer says that you play your best golf game when you play in a way that suits your style, and your style has to be developed according to your personal tastes, tendencies, and preferences. You can’t just change your style to suit the hole at hand, or against a certain competitor or a particular situation, or because you saw someone else’s style and it looked so effective. I found that totally profound when I applied it to climbing. One time, this total idiot who knew me for like five minutes suggested, apropos of nothing at all, that my style was balancy, crimpy face climbing. I think he was just saying things he’d read about female climbers, and was mad because I flashed something with a crimp on it. Gawd what a tool. Anyway, nevermind. Now I’m all mad thinking about that idiot and can’t remember where I was going with this. Rock climbing rules!!