I’ve been very pleased with my gym climbing over the last week. Last night I was trying hard to keep things smooth and calculated on the walls. I find it much easier to run through a route desperately than to try and plan and perform the moves statically. For me, getting a route so it’s graceful is nearly as rewarding as finally sending a project I’ve been working on for weeks.
It’s funny, when there are a few minutes of break at the gym I’ll often take a seat on the couches there and flip through a climbing magazine. Usually there’s some 5.14 junkie talking about climbing and how there’s some natural (or super-natural) spiritual bond between man and rock, or how climbing is purification for the soul.
While I appreciate how strong their passion is for climbing, I can’t help but also think that talk of zen and feeling at one with the rock is a bit pretentious. I think it’s easy to confuse spirituality and just general relaxation. That said…
I think I’ve mentioned on this blog before how John Gill, the father of modern bouldering, once talked about how deep training in climbing could, as Jon Krakauer describes in his book Eiger Dreams, “induce a telekinetic ability to levitate, if only slightly.” Krakauer continues: “Many of those climbers [who were listening] might ordinarily be inclined to scoff when talk turns to telekinesis and the like, but when Gill talks about levitation they listen very, very carefully.”