Life 101: Take the Fall
There is something unique about the trad climbing at Smith Rock. The routes are steep, the gear is fiddly, and the crux is always some bouldery move that you either commit to or whip big. That’s totally not my style, and I took more whippers during the two weeks there than my entire season in Yosemite. Even though I did not go home with any proud send, I was still stoked to have failed from trying, instead of failing to try.
We are at points victim to our own ego. There is always too much on the line and any failure would be a detriment to our self-worth. We try just hard enough to keep our scorecard clean, yet we are too afraid to floor that gas pedal. Honestly, it’s never about whether you failed or not, but the attitude toward failure itself. No matter what the outcome is, there will always be an opportunity to learn, to grow stronger, and to reexamine what really motivates you. If there is something that inspires you, go for it! If you are worried about blowing the onsight and would rather come back after being stronger - don’t. Either put up the fight today and be proud, or cruise it tomorrow when you could be climbing much harder.
That’s the lesson I learned at Smith. I have failed in every possible way in life, but I am damn proud of it.