Persistence (n) – firm or obstinate continuance in a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition.
There was great weather, climbing and incredible rock all around us. Around the corner from where we were another group of climbers were project the route “K.S.B.” a 5.10d classic with a beautiful line of iron infused pockets making its way 60 ft up the dense sandstone rock face. As with many crags I have come across a clip stick has become a standard part of the required list of needed gear. This route definitely was no different in that assessment.
I sat back watching the climber start off on the route, feeling out each hold and transcribing the required movement in beta to ascent to the next bolt.
Once he got his bearings, he began to dial-in on the required beta forcing him to make more pronounced movements in order to obtain each hold. In this one case (with a rather trying look on his face) called for what looked to be a really high foot and long reaching side pull crimp.
Life requires us to get out of our comfort zone every once in a while. With climbing we can all agree it asks this of us more often than not. With each attempt we continue to learn a little more. A little more simply about the route, hold or rock we are climbing. We learn a little more about ourselves our own fears, our confidence and ability to keep cool when under pressure.
Just out of reach, everyone watched in silence. You could see his eyes fixated up, locked on the anchors. He kept his composure along with a deep breath exhaling slowly as he looked down to his feet moving his lower foot up higher to a shallow pocket to balance himself better.
I got to watch this climber work at K.S.B. for over 30 minutes, as soon as he fell he would shake it off and get right back it. The consist persistence that was shown was rather impressive and extremely motivating. No matter how many times you fall you get back up. It is not a failure but in fact tip and/or lesson on how to do it better the next time. We as climbers are very familiar with the beauty of falling (physically & metaphorically). That beauty lends itself to that greater feeling of accomplishment. That fire burning within fuels us to keep moving out of our comfort zone achieving goals we once never though imaginable.
Oh and if you were curious to what the name meant “K.S.B”.= Keep it Strange, Baby
We have more posts about Red River Gorge still to come! Happy sends everyone!