The 1%...

12:02 a.m. on March 23, 2016 (EDT)
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A similar post on Reddit got me thinking: At what grade of climbing is one's fitness in the top 1% of the general population? That is, considering the US for example, could 3.2 million people climb V4, if only they tried? V9?

Now what about within those who fancy themselves rock climbers? Let's say for our purposes 100,000 people in the US regularly climb either in a gym or on real rock. Now would being able to send V9 put one within the top 1% of climbers?

Generally, I abhor such vapid gauging for the ego's sake. However, I know I run into confidence problems, at times, often when sending at my limit...red point nerves, if you will...and I sometimes find myself thinking "Why can't you do that?! You SHOULD be able to do that! You sent that one over there, so this one should go no problem!"

Perhaps such perspective could be useful. I mean, maybe just because I can't climb Vamazing on any given day doesn't mean I'm weak sauce after all?

1:47 a.m. on March 23, 2016 (EDT)
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I don't climb and you won't ever see me climb..lol. I'd say if your body is saying no then don't do it, but sometimes you just have to make yourself do it! It's a double edged sword. You seem like you know you can do more than what you are so go for it! Once you do it you'll wonder what all the fuss was about. You know your skill level and the only way to get better is to push your current limits.

1:08 p.m. on March 23, 2016 (EDT)
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Comparing yourself to others is not a good idea.  There is always someone who is stronger, lighter, more .agile, etc., and so what?  Climb for personal satisfaction and worry a whole lot less about others and what they do

I always have enjoyed climbing what I could climb, enjoying the good days to the fullest, and on those not-so-good days, appreciating the clean air, sunshine, and camaraderie...

10:51 a.m. on March 24, 2016 (EDT)
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I think a little competitiveness is a great motivator.  As a climber you are likely to be a person who sees a challenge as an opportunity to succeed.  The Book, The Vertical Mind has been a great resource for me to understand myself as a climber and helping me get over blocks in my climbing and life.   

I think that Mark Twight said that most normal humans, with training can climb 5.12 but beyond that it takes someone with genetic gifts. 

1:45 p.m. on April 10, 2016 (EDT)
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Ok. That's sensible. 5.12 with training. 

11:37 a.m. on April 12, 2016 (EDT)
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Where are you climbing lately?  I think I remember you sending 5.10b in approach shoes.

3:15 p.m. on April 15, 2016 (EDT)
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I'm still in the UP. Not a whole lot of outdoor climbing areas around, but enough to keep me mostly occupied.

I was just looking for some opinions. It was a very spur-of-the-moment post.

In not losing sleep keeping up with the Joneses...

8:42 p.m. on April 15, 2016 (EDT)
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Also, FWIW, I'm a fan of Mark Twight. I like his description of NIN tracks playing in his brain as he attacked headwalls at 16,000 feet in Kiss or Kill.

I'm really happy with my climbing these days. I popped my rotator cuff a number of years back on Body Karate at Jackson Falls in Southern Illinois. Been rehabbing it ever since, and for the first time since the injury I'm climbing V9 again. 

I'm taking the next couple months off to focus specifically on my climbing. I'm really excited.

2:31 p.m. on April 28, 2016 (EDT)
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If you are climbing, you probably are already in the top 1% strengthwise!  That bar is actually pretty low.  Few adults can do five chin ups.  Few can stand on tip toes for more than four minutes, and few can sustain real world cardio (versus gym rat cardio) for more than five minutes.  Now if you are referring to the .1%,  that is a different matter.

Another criteria is flexibility.  most adults cannot touch the ground with their hands unless they bend their knees, let alone high kick a foot up onto the ledge you endeavor to attain.  Anyone who does some stretching is more limber than the 99% of us.  I'd rather be limber than strong.  I am stronger than the overwhelming majority of women, yet many can out climb me due to their superior flexibility.

Lastly there are the nerves.  I hate when my legs sewing machine due to fatigue, but dread when they get jacked by nerves.  I believe this last item is the one that precludes you sending what you know otherwise to be within your pay grade.  Fear can wobble our knees, regardless of physical conditioning.  Deep breaths, focus on task and positive mental visuals all help to mitigate fear.  Don't let extraneous thoughts interfere with your efforts.

Ed

January 15, 2019
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