Climbing 5.12 is not as romantic as one may think. Hitting the pinnacle of 5.13/5.14 does not make you a god. One-arm-pinky-pullups does not mean youâ€™re hardcore. What defines a climber is their passion for the sport, their devotion to the art of climbing, their addiction to its purity, and their understanding of its meaning.
So how does a climber reach his/her max potential? There are any number of resources to which a climber has access, be it Eric Horstâ€™s, How to Climb 5.12, Nicrosâ€™ Training Center website, the staff at Vertical Endeavors and their â€œMovement and Techniqueâ€ clinics, or
even the dude that sits in the bouldering cave spewing beta you didnâ€™t ask for. If you are looking to get strong on the wall, spend more time on the wall–sounds simple, and it is. Read and talk to friends. Watch climbers that are better and stronger than you. Watch climbers that make it look effortless, and learn from them. Read a book, take lessons, start a training program. Know that it wonâ€™t come to you if you do not work for it. Buy a headband and get your flex on. Itâ€™s worth it.
However, do NOT get caught up in the numbers. Itâ€™s okay to set goals and itâ€™s perfectly acceptable to reach for a mark, but realize that not everyone is genetically predisposed to be a 5.14 climber. If it isnâ€™t in the cards, you should not get upset when you plateau. Find comfort in the fact (notice I say fact) that there is more climbing available to you than you will ever have the chance to expose yourself to. You are not limited by the difficulty with which you climb.
Iâ€™ve been climbing long enough, hard enough, and traveled enough to gather a respect for the rock itself, and the climbs that have called my name, occupied my dreams and my thoughts have nothing to do with the insignificant difficulty number we have subjectively assigned to it. You want to be strong, be strong. Nobodyâ€™s stopping you. My simple advice to you is to focus on the reason why, not the difficulty of. My advice comes from the heart. My advice can be taken or left. My advice is simply that.